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Monday, April 29, 2019

A Few Tips for Saving Money for Your Next Trip

Travelling can be one of the great joys of life – an opportunity to get away from your everyday environment, and to have a real adventure. Out on the open road, you can experience the world in a whole different way, and can create the kind of memories that will stand the test of time.

Image via Pixabay

Of course, it’s an unfortunate fact that travelling costs money, and not everyone is set up like an Instagram influencer, to be on the road all the time, without worrying about the budget.


People might take out a short term payday loan to try and fund their vacation trips. Or they might sell some of their old belongings on eBay, or borrow money from a friend or relative.

Before you turn to those options, here are a few straightforward tips for saving money for your next trip.

Get very specific on what it is you want to do, and start itemizing the experience


If you turn up in an exciting new location, with no real plans or idea of how things work, and a credit card that is just dying to be used, you’re very likely to spend a lot more money than you probably should.

In order to properly budget for the trip, and to do it in the most cost-effective manner possible, you need to get very specific with what it is you want to do, and then start itemizing the experience.

Do some meticulous research. What hotels are on offer? How much does transport cost to those historical sites that you’re interested in? What is a reasonable amount of money to put aside for food?

Understand that you have to make certain sacrifices in your everyday life to fund your travels


As the old saying goes, “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Even extremely wealthy celebrities managed to bankrupt themselves on a pretty regular basis, because they try to have it all, all the time.

If you want to have plenty of great travels, you’ve got to realize that this will entail certain sacrifices in other areas of your everyday life.

So, identify what it is you’re willing and able to sacrifice, and then begin saving up. Maybe you will need to start preparing sandwiches and coffee at home, instead of going to cafes. Maybe you need to stop visiting the cinema so often.


Distill things down their essences and avoid being too extravagant


Try and figure out what it is about the trip that really excites you the most, and that has the most potential to improve and uplift your life as a whole.

Maybe it’s the simple fact of being there, and exploring the place. Or, maybe being in pretty luxurious accommodation is a major factor for you.

Either way, distill things down their essences, and focus on funding the stuff that makes the trip meaningful for you. Avoid being any more extravagant than you need to be.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Mother's Day Travel Gift List 2019

2019 is just trucking along and next month we're coming up on Mother's Day, which means appreciating those lovely women who do so much and mean so much for us. You may have a friend, aunt, daughter (who's also a mother), mom, grandma, or wife that falls into these categories, and if they also love traveling, then my Mother's Day Travel Gift List is definitely for you.  

Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash
I like to add some of the same things to my gift lists, because they are tried and true and well-loved by me, but I've freshened up this list to include brand new things, many of which I saw at the Travel Goods Show and most that will be reviewed or already have. As always, I've broken it down into price points.



Budget: >$50


1. Anti-Theft Bottle Tote
Summer is coming, and with it will be tons of outdoor activities (if you're lucky). Maybe you'll be headed to the beach, or to sports games, or theme parks, or all those summer festivals in town. Wherever the summer takes you, you're probably going to bring a water bottle, but not want to carry it around. Mom's always get relegated to drink holder, so this awesome holder with an adjustable strap and an anti-theft pocket in the front that holds credit cards, money, and even your phone! $31.50 on Travelon (get 20% off if you use code SHEREENTRAVELS20%)
2. Multi-Passport wallet
That mom on your list who likes to travel, probably goes with her family, so not only is she carrying her own, she's also carrying everyone else's, because otherwise there's chaos and freaking out (or half of their family does this). Get them an RFID-blocking passport wallet that holds boarding passes, 4 passports, a pen and money, so everything is in one spot. (If they have a larger family, there's also a 6 passport wallet. If they are empty nesters, you can get a 2 passport wallet.) $26.25 on Travelon (get 20% off if you use code SHEREENTRAVELS20%)
3. Hydaway bottle
It's always important to stay hydrated (or bring along your favorite wine to the picnic). Get your mom something she can really use that also won't weigh her down. This amazing bottle is collapsible when empty, and can slip right in your bag or pocket. Not only is this bottle cool, but it's also BPA-free, can go in the dishwasher, is leak-proof, can go in the freezer, and can hold alcohol. It fits in your car cupholders, too! If your mom drinks a lot of water, there is an optional charcoal filter lid. $25 from Hydaway
4. Memory Foam Armrest
Now there will be no question as to who's got the armrest, though there might be an even bigger fight for it. The airplane armrests are always uncomfortable, even when they are padded. Make long flights a little more comfortable with one of these awesome memory foam armrests. They don't take up much room in a bag and can make a big difference towards getting her there a little happier. $15 from Walter+Ray
5. Compression Socks
All types of people use compression socks, and now they are even more fun to wear with bright colors and patterns. Compression socks are good for long flights, long days of walking, or even running and jogging. I always keep a pair or two in my travel bag and they are lifesavers. Your mom might think so, too, especially since she doesn't have to sport boring ones that make her feel like a grandma, even if she is one. $26.99 from Sockwell. You can see my review here.
6. Sphynx
Every woman needs a good razor, and if it's fun, that's a bonus. Do you ever shave your legs and then realize you missed a spot as soon as you're somewhere where you can't fix it? Yeah, we've all been there. This fun looking razor spins to reveal two disposable razors, a refillable spray bottle and a moisturizer bar that doesn't melt. Use it anywhere. Keep it in your travel bag. Keep it in your gym bag. Keep it in the glovebox. It comes in awesome colors and I'll be reviewing it and giving one away soon. $15 on Sphynx. Also available at Target, Ulta, and Sephora.
7. GoTubb
In my travels, I've had a lot of tubes and containers, but none have been as awesome as GoTubb. I use these for anything I can't find a smaller version of, so I can pack light. They don't leak and they hold a lot more than you expect, but in a small size. These come in small, medium and large, so they can be used for practically anything, from snacks, moisturizer. From $6 on Amazon



Moderate: $50-100 


1. Benjilock
Regular TSA-accepted locks usually suck, and are easy to forget the combination to, especially if you only travel a few times a year. If that's a problem your mom has too, so she just doesn't use a lock on her luggage, a Benjilock might just be what she needs. Instead of a combination or a key, it opens with a fingerprint. And if she's traveling with several people who are using the same carry-on/suitcase, it can hold up to 10 fingerprints. I'll be reviewing this soon. $70 on Amazon, but can also be found at The Home Depot and QVC and Ace Hardware.
2. Lewis N Clark Anti-Theft Clutch
Lewis N Clark has some awesomely innovative bags and this is one that I saw at the Travel Goods Show and knew it would be perfect for Mother's Day. This anti-theft bag from the Secura line is both a crossbody and a clutch. It's sleek looking and even has an RFID-blocking pouch, so mom can go from airport, to sightseeing, to swanky dinner without ever having to switch bags. I mean, I can't wait to get one myself. I will hopefully be reviewing one of these soon. $59.99 on Amazon
3. Barrier Method Winged Mask
Okay, I feel like travel is one of those things that can be simultaneously awesome and awful. You get to go to cool new places and you can also get some disgusting sicknesses from all the germs everywhere, especially on the plane. This anti-bacterial mask is both healthy and pretty and can be used to stay well, reduce your allergens, keep your neck warm, among other things. Gift your mom the gift of health and wellness with one of these. $60 from The Barrier Method (you can read my review here.)
4. Tropicfeel shoes
I backed these as a kickstarter, because they sounded amazing. They are pretty much Spring and Summer shoes (though if the fall isn't cold, you could wear them then too). We travel to Vegas a lot and do a ton of theme parks, which have plenty of water activities. These shoes are like your best sneakers and water shoes in one. I backed them hoping they would be as good as they sounded, and they were. We both have a pair and they are super lightweight, can be worn with or without socks, and look fantastic. They are perfect for all the walking your mom will do on her travels. $78 on TropicFeel (available for preorder.)
5. Bracketron Roadtripper
Here's another thing I'll be reviewing. The Roadtripper is a multifunctional travel tool. It is a phone stand, but you can unfold it to also hold your tablet and your phone for viewing videos on the tray table latch, so it's at eye level. If you're on the road and need to use your phone as a GPS, this also works for that...and it's certainly not flimsy like a lot of those other phone holders you buy elsewhere. The roadtripper folds up small and unfolds in different ways for what you need to use it for. $50 on Bracketron, but it is on sale now for $34.99. You can also find it at Best Buy and other stores.
6. Travelon Anti-Theft Parkview Hobo Crossbody 
The new Parkview collection from Travelon is classy and comes in classic colors. Not only is it anti-theft, but it has an RFID-blocking pocket and tons of room. It will never make you stick out as a tourist, and can hold all your things and probably some of your purchases. Mom's have to carry all the things, and this bag can do it, while looking great. $89.25 from Travelon (get 20% off if you use code SHEREENTRAVELS20%)
7. FaceCradle
There are so many travel pillows to choose from, but one of the best I've tried is the FaceCradle. Not only is it perfect for the ever-diminishing airplane space, but it's great for tall people, and for using on trains and in cars as well. It has a bunch of different ways to use it. We have the regular version and the lite version, and we sleep like babies on the plane. You can see my review here. $49.99 on Amazon


Splurge: <$100


1. Anti-theft Tailored Wheeled Underseat Carry-on
This new carry-on with spinner wheels from Travelon is fantastic and has a great wipe-down bottom half that can be cleaned easily after tromping through the airport, the subway, and down the street. It has a ton of room and is easy to stash in the overhead. You mom will love this new chic bag, and she'll be able to pack everything she needs in it. $141 on Travelon (get 20% off if you use code SHEREENTRAVELS20%)
2. Priority Pass
Hanging out in the airport can be fun, but after a while, you wish it could be better. Buy your mom access to all the airport lounges, so she can get some peace and quiet, free snacks and maybe get some work done or catch a shower. You can purchase her the standard pass for $99/year, or upgrade her to the plus for $299, which includes 10 free visits (generally member visits are $32). Right now you can get 15% off memberships on PriorityPass
3. InTransit Carry-On
This is the ultimate carry-on bag, because it fits your large laptop, all your clothes, electronics, snacks, toiletries and more, plus you can carry it 3 different ways. I packed everything for a 5-day trip to Disney in this and it made traveling easy, and also looked great$119 on Walter + Ray's website.
4. Airline gift cards
Buy a gift card that can be used for their favorite airline or hotel chain (or Airbnb) or rental car company. It's nice because you can customize it and make it a bit more personal than a normal gift card. $1-infinity: whatever you want to spend.
5. CityPASS
I'm sure your mom already has her next trip planned. Why not help her make it more affordable by giving her most or all of her activities for free? You'll be able to find a lot of participating cities. $50+ on CityPASS website.
6. GlobeIn monthly travel box
If your mom doesn't quite have the funds to travel, but loves cool stuff from other countries anyway. Give her the gift of stuff from around the world with the GlobeIn box. Each box contains at least 4 goodies from other countries and they all center around a story. $144 for a 3-month subscription. The price per box goes down with longer subscriptions.

There you have it. My picks for your the mom who does it all and deserves it all. If you want to take a look at other lists, in case you don't see something your mom would like, or you want to purchase several things for a gift, type "mother's day" in the search bar on the right.

What are you doing for your mom this year?


Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which help me run this blog, and I am always super happy to help you find something cool, and eternally grateful when you use my links as well.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Visiting Miami Without Spending A Fortune

Budget travelers may not always think of Miami as a particularly cheap destination, but you don't actually have to spend a fortune to enjoy yourself in this coastal city. In fact, there are quite a few places to visit, stay, and eat that will do anything but break the bank. Just read on to find out what they are.

Where to eat

Often times the food in cities that are popular for tourists can be costly, something that can end up upping the cost for anyone traveling there. Happily, this isn't the case with many eateries in Miami, as it's still possible to get some tasty and filling food for a reasonable price.

In particular, Safron Grill a place that serves yummy Middle Eastern food is popular with visitors and locals. With an entire meal only setting you back around $11-$15.

Alternatively, you may wish to try David's Cafe Cafecito on Alton Road, where you can get a pretty hefty sandwich Cubano for $9 that will fill you up all day!    

Where to visit

Also, vacationers that are visiting Miami on a strict budget will be pleased to note that there are plenty of sites to see and things to do that don't require them to take out a second mortgage.

The first stop for budget-conscious visitors to Miami needs to be South Beach, as there you can either soak up some rays on the beach or take a walk around the neighborhood and appreciate all the Art Deco architecture.


Then there is Bayfront Park located on Biscayne Bay. The perfect place for a picnic or just taking a walk and depicting all the beautiful surroundings.




Wynwood is another fantastic location for sightseeing as well. The reason being that you can walk around the district for free and take in the murals, as well as do some no-cost window shipping in the hop boutiques that line the streets.




Of course, the best thing about saving money while still having a great time when visiting Miami is that you will have enough in your budget to 'push the boat out' on occasion. In fact, this is something that you can literally do as many people choose to get a boat rental in Miami and explore the coastline from the water instead of the shore. The great thing about this is that even for a piloted boat it doesn't actually cost that much so even those folks that are super strict in their budget won’t find it profitably expensive.

Where to stay

Finally, when it comes to keeping you spending low in Miami, it's crucial to get accommodation that doesn't break the budget. Luckily, if you don't mind staying a little farther out from the city and beaches, you can get some pretty reasonable accommodation in camp and RV sites in this location.

Some have cabins that you can hire out too, and many come with fantastic facilities like restaurants and pools. Which means you certainly don't have to go without all luxuries, when visiting Miami on a budget.


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Tips for Greener Travel

Monday is Earth Day, so I've been thinking about ways I can make my travels greener and more eco-friendly. While travel doesn't always feel like it's great for the environment, especially when you're getting to your destination on a a huge plane that burns a ton of fuel, there are many things you can do to offset your travel carbon footprint. 

Pack Light

The less "cargo" that a plane carries, the less fuel it has to use. It might be negligible in relation to the weight of the plane itself, but every little bit helps, plus you'll feel like a rock star for being able to go straight from the plane to your hotel, because you don't have to wait at the baggage carousel like all those other suckers. Boom! You saved time and you saved money. If you need ideas on how to pack strategically, check out this post.

Bring a reusable water bottle

Stay hydrated, while also being environmentally conscious and not buying a bunch of bottled waters on your trips. I have a favorite. I will fill it half with ice and the other half with water at the beginning of the day and my water stays cold all day long and I usually even have ice long after my bottle is empty and I need to refill it. It's great, because it also saves you money too.

Skip the straw

So many places now are banning plastic straws, because they aren't recyclable and mostly just end up in the ocean, aspiring to become a part of that plastic island. If you travel  internationally, you'll notice that you don't even get offered a straw in many places. If you must have a straw, travel with a reusable one. I have several stainless steel and copper straws that I put in my purse to use when I'm out. 

Bring your own utensils

With the same idea about straws, I generally travel with a set of bamboo utensils. Why? Because I love eating at food trucks, but I hate plastic utensils...and there's never anyplace to recycle them (if they even are recyclable). There's also the fact that sometimes those plastic forks and knives are just not sturdy enough for the food you're eating. Have you ever had a fork just snap in half while trying to eat something heartier? Well, bamboo forks will never do that, plus, you can wash them and reuse them without worrying about BPA and degradation. 

If you don't care if you have a whole range of utensils, then check out these awesome travel utensils from Humangear. They're made for camping, but no one's going to bat an eye if you whip these out at the food trucks, especially in Portland.

Shop at farmers’ markets


Support local farmers, butchers, florists and artisans by shopping at open-air markets. Not only will you be putting money back into a community to help it thrive, you’re also keeping small businesses alive. By purchasing fresh ingredients that you can eat right away or do a little preparation with back at your lodging, you’re saving money over a traditional sit-down meal.

Eat at food carts 

Another way to save on meals is to eat at food carts. They are the ultimate in budget dining, because they are basically a mobile kitchen. With their low overhead, (no seating, waiters, busboys, etc.) those savings are passed on to you. You also get to try local cuisine for less, and normally where there is one food cart, there are many. If your kids are picky, there is bound to be something they find appetizing within reasonable walking distance from your current cart.


Find sustainable restaurants

While not always budget-friendly, I try to look for restaurants who use local and seasonal foods. This means that your food doesn't have to travel far to get to you, plus you're getting the freshest dishes possible, so it's a win-win. There are lots of sustainable restaurants that pass their savings on to you, so not only are you getting awesome food, but you aren't paying more for it either. Locally-sourced food is a great way to really feel your destination as well.

Ebooks and apps

Guidebooks are awesome, but not only do they take up room in your luggage, what do you do with them when your vacation is over? Probably you recycle them, but what if you didn’t have to? You can pretty much get any book you want in digital format for your e-reader or smartphone. You can even “bookmark” important pages you know you’ll need. And there are many apps that can give you directions, city tours, maps and even help you find attractions nearby. Many are even free! Going paperless can really make you feel lighter on your trips and allow you to feel better about all the information you’re toting around.

Walk or take public transportation

Many travelers rely on renting cars or taking cabs when on vacation, but that’s not always economical. In most big cities, taxis are really expensive and just a few trips could add up to hundreds of dollars. Why waste all that money (and gas!) when you can just as easily walk to your desired destinations or take public transportation? If either of these options are feasible, then take the time to slow down and smell the roses. 

You never know what you’re missing until you get out and see things from the point of view of a local. You’ll get some fresh air, exercise and even find a hidden shop or cafĂ© that you can come back to. This is also a great time to let your kids take the reins and learn to navigate the subway map or figure out the best walking route from your hotel to wherever it is you planned on going. And if you tend to get swollen ankles from tons of walking, then get yourself a pair of good compression socks for sightseeing or to wear when you get back to your room.

Stay in an eco-lodge

If you’re looking for alternative accommodations from your typical hotel, consider staying in an eco-lodge. They come in many different types, but strive to do their best to impact the environment as little as possible, with low-flow toilets, use of sustainable materials, farm-to-table programs and more. You will find that many are a lot more luxurious than expected and even more affordable. Be careful, though, as some offer electricity, while others do not. If lights after sundown are important to you, then make sure you confirm that it is included before you book.

Stay in an Airbnb

While this isn't necessarily eco-friendly all on its own, it comes with benefits built-in that you don't think about: there's no housekeeping, so unless you're washing all your linens and towels everyday, you're saving water. You can also opt to put your Do Not Disturb sign on your door instead, so you skip cleaning days that are unnecessary when you're staying in a hotel. Reuse things, save them from having to replace your half-used soap or shampoo. In the meantime, turn off as many lights as you can while you're in the room, and all of them when you leave for the day. These things still help in the long run.

Recycle

Not all places recycling receptacles, which is disheartening, but I always have a second garbage bag that I use strictly for my recyclables and then I ask where I can take that at the end of my stay. I've been known to break things down and pack them home if I can't find a proper place to dispose of them. I'm not willing to toss things in the garbage unless there's absolutely no other choice. If you cruise, I have been told that everything goes into garbage cans and then there are crew members who sort out garbage from recycling. 

As a budget traveler that tries to do my part for the environment as much as possible, I’m always looking for new ways to save on my whole vacation. By just making the effort to get out and see your destination from a new perspective, you find different ways to experience your trips and change up your travel style a bit to make it more affordable and green at the same time. 

How do you travel green?


Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate posts. Thanks in advance for shopping through them. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Review: Sockwell's Graduated Compression Socks

As a person who travels quite a lot, walks a ton on each trip, and is on her feet all day when going to a day job, good footwear and compression socks are a must. Being short, my feet don't really reach the floor comfortably on the plane, so it's hard for me to maintain circulation in my lower legs. Not that I have great circulation in my feet in the first place. Sockwell's Graduated Compression Socks are exactly what I need.

Sockwell makes some of the best compression socks, because they've been doing it for a long time. Their aim is to the best. Achieving that, they focused next on stylish options. Just because you need compression socks, doesn't mean you want to look like you live in a nursing home. Heck, those people would probably love some fun styles, too! I know I would.


I picked up a pair of graduated compression socks from Sockwell when I visited their booth at the Travel Goods Show, where they explained to me why they are awesome, why people need them and how to put them on more easily. As long as I've been wearing compression socks, I've never been shown the proper way to get them on my foot. When you flip them inside out, get your toes situated in the toe box, then you can roll them up your leg (sort of like pantyhose), they go on very well, and don't need to be adjusted at all. 


Sockwell not only has graduated compression up the leg, but also the top and bottom of the foot, which you don't think you need, until you have it. These socks are pretty and make you feel taken care of. If, like me, you find that you tend to swell not only in your ankles, but also in your foot, then this is crucial. Swollen feet make for a miserable vacation. Ask me how I know. 


Wear these socks in all temperatures! Sockwell uses a merino wool and bamboo blend to keep your foot temperature controlled, keep your foot dry and shoe from trapping moisture, and not allowing bacteria to grow. This blend discourages odors, unlike other socks made from synthetics. And unlike cotton socks, which dry slowly and stay wet, these also help prevent blisters, because sweat and other moisture isn't trapped and creating unnecessary friction.

Not sure if compression socks are for you? If you walk all day, stand all day, jog or do other exercise, then compression socks can help you prevent blood clots and swelling, and even stabilize your muscles, meaning your legs and feet don't get as tired as quickly. I can attest to the fact that this works, as I walked 25 miles in four days while in Las Vegas, so my feet were, undeniably, in need of some TLC. 


I wore my new Sockwell's on my travel day home, where I flew on the plane and then took a three-hour train ride, all while dragging my luggage alone with me and I never feel like I wanted to just sit down and never move again. My feet were pretty happy and I didn't immediately rip off my shoes and socks when I walked in the door either. 

I find that a good pair of compression socks can really be the difference between having achy feet and legs partway through a long day of sightseeing and still being happy to walk a few more blocks to get dinner after you've gone back to your room to freshen up. Each day of your trip can feel like the beginning of your trip, because you don't wake up with lingering aches from the day before. To me, that's more than worth the extra money you're paying for compression socks over regular socks that don't really do much beyond keep your feet warm. They aren't bulky, so you can wear them with all your shoes and even your skinny jeans. 

Why wouldn't you own several pairs of these for your travel bag?
What's your favorite way to make your travels easier or more comfortable?

More Details:
How much are they? $26.99/pair
Where can I buy them? On the Sockwell website or Amazon
What colors/patterns do they come in? So many! but the ones I am wearing are the Teal Women's Circulator. 
Other specs: Spandex throughout sock, Turn Welt Top, Arch Support, Seamless Toe Closure | COMPRESSION: 15-20mmHG, Moderate Compression | CUSHIONING: Ultra Light Cushion Sole | CONTENT: 32% Merino Wool 31% Bamboo Rayon 32% Stretch Nylon 5% Spandex

Learn more about Sockwell and keep up with the new styles by following them on social:


Disclosure: I was given a pair of Sockwell graduated compression socks for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Review: The Winged Mask from The Barrier Method

I've had my share of spending all or part of my vacation on cold meds and being miserable, because getting sick is so easy when you travel. The plane is full of recycled air, meaning recycled germs, and you can't get away from it. Plus, wherever you go, everything has been touched by a million strangers. The Barrier Method brings you a scarf with a secret. It's a nice accessory, but it's also a face mask that keeps the germs from getting into your body.


The moment I saw this scarf, I knew I needed to try it! Nobody wants to travel wearing a surgical mask, because A.) they don't work and B.) everyone treats you like you have the plague, not like you're trying to avoid getting it. If you've ever been sick the moment you've made it to your destination, you'll understand why this product is so important.

The plane is disgusting and dry. No one's going to dispute that. Every time I fly, I am relying on lotion and lip balm and feel like my face is going to crack and fall off. A good portion of the passengers are coughing or sneezing.  The recycled air is no one's friend, and if you use the personal fan, you're essentially just blowing germs directly at your face. The Barrier Method was made for those that don't want to get sick on their trips (so, everyone), or those that have really bad allergies (*points to self*), and those that still want to look good while taking care of their health.


The winged mask (or the neckie, if you don't want a full scarf) has a built-in mask that blocks out germs, moistens the air you're breathing, and just looks cool. The fabric itself is lightweight, breathable, looks and feels lovely, is moisture-wicking, so you won't sweat, and hinders odor-causing bacteria. It basically does all the things, meaning you can wear it when it's warm out and when it's cold out.


The fabric is imbued with UPF 50, because did you know that the rays from the sun are even more damaging at 30,000 feet than they are on the ground? Yikes! I always wear sunglasses and sunscreen, but this means I have double protection on some of my most sensitive skin, as I always like to keep my shade up during the day time. It helps to feel like you've got a little more room than you do and allows you to soak up some Vitamin D. 


I also love how lightweight this scarf is. Wear it throughout your flight and then easily stash it in your bag when you reach your destination. It takes up hardly any room, so you can take it with you everywhere and pull it out when you need it. 


As someone who can't always get headphones and such to fit correctly, the adjustable ear straps are a lifesaver. They work like bra straps, so you can make the mask tighter or looser, depending on your needs. That means it works for men, women and children. I wondered if it might really inhibit my normal breathing, but it only takes a few minutes to acclimate to the feel of something over your nose and mouth. In fact, I wore this for several hours and after about 5 minutes, I forgot I was wearing it. 

If you have medium hair or longer, it's going to cover the ear straps, but even if it doesn't, it's not a big deal. You see someone wearing one of these and you wonder wear they got it, not what's wrong with them. 


When you concentrate on breathing normally with your mask on, you find that you slip a bit into a meditative mode, calming you down and allowing you to nap easier on the plane, train, or even in the car. If napping isn't on your list, it gives you more focus to read, work or whatever else you want to focus on. Quit taking time out to slather on 45 coats of lipbalm and arrive at your destination feeling more refreshed. It even helps with those weird food (and other) smells from people around you, so if you're sensitive to those things as well, here's your answer.


The The Barrier Method has really thought of everything, because not only are you going to look and feel good, but you're going to actually look good. The masks come in a bunch of colors and patterns, meaning you will find one that works for you...or several that you may want to rotate through. You can machine wash them on gentle cycle and hang them to dry. Did I mention they dry quickly? 
So, what about when you can't wear a mask, because you're eating or drinking or sleeping in a dry climate (though you can sleep with it on)? Check out the Barrier Method's Nose Goop. If you've ever felt like your nose was super dry or you're prone to bloody noses, and have resorted to putting vasoline or even lip balm up your nose to keep it from getting dried out, then you're going to want some of this! 

None of those things are good for you. Nose Goop is an all-natural, organic answer to both keeping the inside of your nose from drying out and those germs outside of your body where they belong. It's made from comfrey, olive oil and lavender, so it's safe and smells lovely and also relaxes you. It's wonderful for your skin and won't make you break out like those other things you've been using. It's perfect for travel, because you can use it as a germ barrier, an organic lotion, and a sleep aid. 

So, if you're hoping to stay healthy, look cool, and support a woman-owned small business who makes their products in America, you need a mask and goop. Your travels will never be the same, in the best way. These also make awesome gifts. Mother's Day is coming up, or you may have a graduation gift to buy for a kid that's hoping to travel (though these would be perfect for avoiding germs all over college campuses, too). 

Are you as tired as I am of being sick on vacation?

Other details:
How much is it? Winged mask in solids: $60 | winged mask in patterns: $70 | nose goop: $10
Where can I buy it? From the Barrier Method website {use code STC10 for an exclusive discount}
What colors/patterns does it come in? Black | White | Grey | Coral | Blue | Aqua | Blue Tribal | Camo | Hibiscus | Electric Palms | Maui Monstera (shown at top) | Maui Pineapple (shown)
More specs: Antibacterial, light weight, wicking, UPF 50, breathable, non-pilling, wrinkle-resistant, & inhibits growth of odor causing bacteria. Made of 100% Eco Polyester. Made in Hawaii & California.

Follow The Barrier Method wherever you socialize:


Disclaimer: I was provided with the Winged Mask in Maui Pineapple for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Streamline Your Travel Beauty Routine

As a person who travels often, I have figured out a way to streamline my travel beauty routine in order to keep my toiletry bag packed with all the necessities, so I don't have to repack every time I go anywhere. 

pillow spray | Neosporin | travel razor
At home, I have a ton of beauty and hair products, which I may or may not use. Sometimes I like to experiment with new looks, but that's when I have time and feel like it. When I travel, I want my daily routine to be as quick and efficient as possible. I want to spend more time out and about, exploring a new city, instead of getting up and spending an hour in the bathroom trying to look camera ready. If, like me, you want to get out the door faster and also pack less, here's how I do it:

Get a Gel Mani

If you're one that likes to have your nails painted and looking fresh, then this is a must. I've spent enough time trying to touch up chips in my nails while away from home, but it gets old. I'd rather just go with bare nails, because they're less maintenance. But sometimes you want to look more polished and put together. In those times, I make an appointment at my favorite nail salon to get a gel manicure. They last three to four weeks and are pretty chip-proof for the first couple. Choose a color (or colors) that will work for your travel wardrobe  and leave your polish, remover and top coat at home, so you can leave that space in your 3-1-1 bag for more important items, like a spare pair of contacts.

eyeko liner | Milk highlighter | Benefit concealer | Coastal Scents

Simplify

Do you find yourself using the same few products every day at home? Or even when you travel? I do. Moisturizer, foundation or CC cream, powder, highlighter or blush, and mascara. If you're like me, then you already know the handful of products you use the most, making it easy to take those on your trips. Bring along travel sizes of these (or decant them into smaller pots if you can't find them), along with a your favorite eyeshadow palette for special looks, and then you don't have to worry about how you're going to look on your trip. {I like these little GoTubbs for moisturizer & makeup or lotion or coconut oil, which is multipurpose.}

Keep in mind that sometimes you're going to need different products than at home, because the weather is different. I find that my skin dries out more when I travel, so I take a heavier duty moisturizer and top with a CC cream or a tinted moisturizer to give my skin some extra help. I also look for all-natural products that I can get trial sizes of through Sephora or Birchbox, so I don't have to pack full-size items. You aren't going to use that much in a week or two, so big clunky product packages are only taking up unnecessary bag space. I skip anything that I keep in my purse on the regular, like lip balm. Add in your sunscreen and you're good to go. 

CC cream | moisturizer | sunscreen

Look for multipurpose products

I love a good tinted moisturizer, but I also love a combo lip and cheek tint. If you can find products like this that you love, then these are a go-to for your travel beauty bag. Keep it stocked and that's one less thing to worry about.

flat iron | hair serum | travel brush

Go small

Yes, there are all those fun travel sizes of makeup and hair products, but what about other things you use? I have a very convenient, small flat iron that also has a rounded edge in case I want a curly look instead of a straight one. It packs small, comes with its own heat-proof sleeve, so I can use it and immediately pack it up if needed, and it works almost better than my full-size flat iron at home. You can also find mini curling irons and hair dryers, though most places you stay have a hair dryer for your use, which can help you save even more space. I sue this extra space for a frizz-free product, since my hair can get out of control when humidity is involved.

makeup remover wipes | dry shampoo paste

Pick a solid

I'm all for a good shower gel, so much so that I use one that also works as a shaving gel for my legs. I mean, most solid bar soaps dry out your skin, which is not optimal, especially when you just want to be on your way. Instead of bathing in lotion, I pick something I know is tried and true. But when it comes to your hair, solid shampoos and conditioners might be just what you need. If I'm only traveling for a few days, I'll take a trial size packet of shampoo and conditioner, but most of the time, I have pack a solid shampoo and a conditioner so I don't have to bring along a bottle that inevitably leaks. 

Lush, Basin and other companies sell these solid options, and many have a variety of types for your specific hair needs. Now, I don't take the whole thing either. I chop off a bit of each, wrap them in wax paper, and feel better about myself, because a whole bar can last for months. That means I don't need to take the whole thing for a week or two, even if Eric is sharing with me.

What are your go-to beauty products for travel? 


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you shop through them, I will receive monetary compensation and be eternally grateful. All items in photos are from my actual travel bag.
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