Let's Connect!


Saturday, January 29, 2022

What's Australia Day All About?

Last weekend we took a staycation to Australia to learn about the country, do some sightseeing, and celebrate Australia Day. But what is Australia Day and why is it celebrated across the country? Like our Fourth of July, Australia has parades and fireworks and BBQs. 

Last weekend we took a staycation to Australia to learn about the country, do some sightseeing, and celebrate Australia Day. But what is it?

If, like me, you thought this might be a fun holiday for all, even though Indigenous peoples are honored and celebrated, it's not a wonderful holiday for them. You can learn more about how those that don't believe this is a day for jubilation get through January 26. 

What are your thoughts on the inclusivity of this national holiday?

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Happy Australia Day Staycation

Happy Australia Day. This weekend we were finally able to get back into staycations and we "traveled" to Melbourne, Sydney, and Bondi Beach. It was a whole thing. I have been wanting to do Australia for quite a while, so when I saw that Australia Day was January 26th, I figured this was the month to do it. So, let's talk about it!

Happy Australia Day. This weekend we were finally able to get back into staycations and we "traveled" to Melbourne, Sydney, and Bondi Beach.

I, honestly, didn't do any research on Australia Day, but then I felt kind of bad, because it's right up there with Columbus Day and that sucks. Not only did the Dutch come and take over part of Australia, the Brits came later and also declared that they discovered it and completely colonized it and named a day after it. Um...that's not how discovering something works, but whatever. The decent part is that each Australia Day, people who celebrate also acknowledge the native people and give thanks for the land. And, unlike Columbus Day, they include all the nationalities of people who make up Australia, not just that one white guy who got lost and stumbled upon land he wasn't looking for. (Hurray for Indigenous Peoples Day!)

So, yeah. While it's not the best holiday, I learned some stuff and was still glad that I had a banner and did it for January. Back to the rest of this staycation.

I wanted a little bit of everything, so I had a Sydney Harbour backdrop made and then also picked up a backdrop of Bondi Beach, because when I think of Australia, I think of surfing and the Sydney Opera House. So, we had a great view of the harbor and an iconic landmark. I set my table with a luminary that I used as a vase for eucalyptus stems that I picked up in The Spot at Target. On another trip there, I found some outback animals: a platypus, kangaroo, and koala. I also found an adorable rattlesnake of some kind, which I am using for something else, but thought it would make a good home with these other animals. 

I wanted a very natural feel to my table, so I threw on a rust-colored tablecloth and served food on recycled wheat straw plates that I paired with my favorite yellow cloth napkins. A packet of Wiley Wallaby licorice candies and a mini bottle of 19 Crimes wine completed the tablescape. (If you like flavored licorice, you'll enjoy these candies probably. Eric and I both thought they were gross. I probably should have bought some Marmite for toast instead.)

I debated on whether I should make food or if I would even find anything that I could make that wasn't rack of lamb, but went with a local hand pie shop that was the closest I could come to true Australian fare around here. We got a good variety of things and all of them were pretty hearty: 

Cottage pie (shepherd's pie, but with beef), lamb pot pie, curry pasty, and sausage roll. I thought everything was tasty. I don't generally eat sausage, but all of these meat products are locally sourced and high quality, so I pretended I was on actual vacation and tried it all. The sausage was pretty spicy to me. Eric said it wasn't, but I told him his tongue was broken. 

While we ate, we watched the 2020 Australia Day parade in Melbourne. For having so many people, the parade seemed kind of sparse, and I'm not sure there were a ton of people in attendance, but it could be that tourists there aren't loud and obnoxious like they are here. It started with a tradition by the Australian Air Force and then much of the rest was just people walking in groups. There were a few floats, but not many. It lasted 30 minutes and then we moved on to learning more about Australia Day and the history of the country itself. 

We moved on to dessert, while we enjoyed a nice cruise on Sydney Harbour. I had picked up a slice of bourbon hazelnut pie (kind of like a boozy pecan pie, but hazelnuts) and Anzac cookies, a traditional biscuit made from rolled oats. The cookies were perfectly sweet and not at all tooth-shattering like I assumed they might be. The outside is crunchy and the rest is soft. It's kind of a perfect non-chocolate cookie. I also really liked the pie, but Eric wasn't into it, so I had a whole piece to myself. 

We watched a regular harbor cruise for tourists that was beautiful, but also really hard to hear, because the boat engine, and then one of a family who was taking a 4-day boat getaway on their own. It's like if your family wanted to go camping...except on a boat. They made all their own food and stopped to take advantage of showers and whatnot. We got to see quite a lot more from a different perspective and then got the inside scoop of where to stop and sightsee. 

At some point, we may revisit Australia and do a walking tour of Sydney and/or Melbourne, because the country has so much to see and we basically did a mini hop around to get a little taste of everything on a holiday. You could totally make a whole weekend out of an Australia staycation: one day for Melbourne, one for Sydney, and maybe one for Brisbane or the Outback to learn about the native people. It can be both fun and educational, especially if you're doing it with kids.  

Watch some surfing competitions, take some undersea voyages with scuba divers off the Great Barrier Reef, go on a safari to see all the cool (and sometimes terrifying) wildlife, or celebrate Anzac Day - a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served" - that takes place in April. 

More ways to say g'day, mate to an Australian staycation:

I hope your staycation is bonzer! (that means great or cool) Even though we can't go there right now, and it's one of those once-in-a-lifetime trips, we can plan and we can do the next best thing. What has your favorite staycation been so far?

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I may be compensated should you choose to make any purchases through them. This allows me to keep this blog running for you.

Monday, January 24, 2022

De-Stress with SpectraSpray

We're all going through very stressful times right now. Not just because travel is, once again, an up-in-the-air thing, but everything is uncertain. We have to decide how to live our lives safely for ourselves and others, while also having to pretend some semblance of normalcy. It's hard and you may find yourself needing some help from...somewhere. Let SpectraSpray be part of that solution for you.

SpectraSpray makes vegan, organic, sugar-free, gluten-free, yeast-free, wheat-free, dye-free sprays to help you through every facet of your life, including travel.

SpectraSpray makes vegan, organic, sugar-free, gluten-free, yeast-free, wheat-free, dye-free sprays to help you through every facet of your life, including travel. I love these sprays, because they're easy to use, taste pretty good, and absorb quicker than traditional vitamins and supplements.

It seems like everyone is worrying about something right now, whether it's their child going back to in-person learning or their flight being cancelled, so I was very interested in trying the Stress Less kit. It comes with two sprays: Stress Spray and Sleep Spray, to help you get through the day and the night, with...well, less stress. Chill out a bit during the day hours and then fall asleep and stay asleep better. 

I've previously used the Sleep Spray on the airplane when traveling cross-country and overseas, as well as the first night or two of being in a new place and being either too hyped to sleep or it being slightly too different from home to fall asleep easily. It calms you down and helps you drop off naturally. Then you sleep more deeply for longer, allowing your body to recharge the way it needs to. There's no groggy feeling when you wake up either. It contains melatonin and herbs, all proven to support a restorative sleep. 

I've been using the Stress Spray for a few weeks and haven't felt anxious when I otherwise might, which helps me focus better, because I'm calmer and have more energy to devote to the important things. It contains a mix of B vitamins and herbs that combine to help you just relax and calm down when you feel like everything is too much. 

And while you may find this to be a bit too much information, it has also had an impact on my body during menstruation this month. I'm not feeling as crampy or annoyed by random things. I'm not saying it's the Stress Spray, but I'm also not saying it's not the Stress Spray. 

If you have a lot going on in your life and don't want to add a bunch of giant supplements to your routine, but need help really reigning things in, the Less Stress Kit may be for you. It's diabetic- and bariatric patient-friendly and is made with supportive vitamins and natural herbs. The sprays are quickly absorbed by your body and introduced to your bloodstream without having to go through your digestive system first. You spray 4-8 sprays into your inside cheek and then move on with your day (or night). You don't need any water or to choke down massive pills. 

Not only are these sprays all natural and have the highest absorption rate, they can be used anywhere at any time, they're safe for everyone, are TSA-compliant, and they taste great! You can't say that about a lot of other vitamins, because they taste like they are good for you (read: they taste disgusting). These have a nice minty taste, but it doesn't linger, as it absorbs so quickly. So, if you don't love mint, know it's very slight and has no aftertaste.

Not stressing? Maybe you just need more energy to get things done. The B12 Energy Spray can give you that boost whenever you need it. I keep that one in my work locker. 

Worry about health is big on everyone's mind at the moment. Immune Spray creates a barrier in your mouth to defend against bacteria and viruses. This is perfect for these uncertain times, but also when you're traveling to new places and are facing new germs and experiences where it's easy to get sick. I keep that one and a Sleep Spray in my travel bag and even pair them with wearing a mask to cover all my bases. 

Feeling like you could use a pick-me-up while working from home, trying to help your kids with distance learning, or being socially distanced in your office? Constantly breathing in the warm air from your mask can make you a bit too relaxed and make you feel sleepy (this is why masks are actually great on planes). The new Cafe Energy Spray has a natural mocha flavor and caffeine. It has a much higher absorption rate than energy drinks and gets its caffeine from coffee bean extract. 

They use caffeine, B12 and adaptogenic herbs to give you a natural boost and no crash like you get with beverages like coffee. It's also great for those that don't enjoy coffee or can't drink it because of the acidity.

I only noticed when I got back in the car that my camera decided to focus on the background, but I do take this everywhere I go :) 

You can get all your important vitamins in their own sprays or get a multivitamin spray. Whatever your needs, SpectraSpray has the answer. They even have sanitizer spray. It's slim, so I keep one in my purse and another one in my locker at work to take with me when I make deliveries and pick-ups. 

These also make great gifts for people in your life. Maybe grab a pack of sanitizer spray for work, kids, or your mailman. Get a Stay Well pack for your mom or dad. Slip a Jet Lag kit in a gift bag for your graduate who's hoping to see the world. Because they're natural, organic, and free of allergens, they work for everyone you know. Items are in stock and ready to ship to you.

More info:
Where can I buy them? Online at SpectraSpray's website
How much do they cost? $19.95+ | Stress Less kit: $38.95 (or less if you subscribe for timed shipments.
Other specs: Superior oral absorption; no binders, fillers or artificial ingredients; convenience and taste. No food or drink required. There is no sugar, starch, wheat, soy, eggs, salt or dairy. Made in the USA. SpectraSpray is a woman-owned small business. 

Like what SpectraSpray is doing? Follow them on social media!

How do you keep well at home, work and while traveling?

Saturday, January 22, 2022

What's Flying Like In A Pandemic?

Well, I did it. I finally got back on a plane. It had been 22 months since I did so, and I felt every day of that. Traveling is something that is a necessity in my life. Though we'd been doing Destination Date Nights, it only pushed off the wanderlust for so long. So, once we were all fully vaccinated and boosted, we booked a flight to Arizona to get away from the gross winter weather.

What's it like flying now that masks are mandatory? How has air travel changed with Covid? What should you be prepared for?

I had my doubts as to whether or not airlines would really enforce the mask rules, but I talked to several people on Twitter who travel for work and they all highly recommended Alaska Airlines, which is already my favorite airline, so I booked with them. I wasn't disappointed either. My favorite announcement from the pilot:

"You must wear your mask properly throughout the entire flight. Properly means over your nose and your mouth...at the same time. Once you are finished eating or drinking, you must put your mask back on. We are not doing this to make a political statement. It is for your safety. If this sounds too difficult for you, please let us know and we can get you off the plane and find you another way to get to your destination."

So, what's it like flying now that masks are mandatory? It's surprisingly fine. On the way there we didn't have seats together. Eric and my mom both ended up with aisle seats and a middle seat between them and the other person in their row. I sat in between two business guys who read their books the whole flight, but who were very friendly. Aside from the one taking his mask down to eat a sandwich, they both kept their masks on and didn't bother me.

We all sat together on the ride home and double-masked, only because there seemed to be quite a few people grumbling about flying with masks at the gate, and I actively heard some behind me talking about some anti-masker site that she was reading about and wanted to tell others about. We pulled our masks down to eat snacks, but kept them on in between bites, as requested. 

I always find the plane cold, so having a mask was nice for me. I only worried about the flight attendants being able to hear me when they came around asking if we wanted anything. Usually, you have speak loudly for them to hear you over the engine anyway, so it was about as annoying as it always is. 

The day after we came home, we made sure to test (I purchased at-home tests before we left) and then two days later, just in case. We knew we weren't sick before we traveled, but mostly only the tourists in Arizona were wearing masks wherever we went, unless it was enforced (literally nowhere), so we were being extra safe for family and my coworkers. You can still get tested for free and can make an appointment for when you return from your trip, but however you do it, testing should 100% be on the top of your to-do list. 

So, aside from masking and testing, travel is much the same as it was before, with the addition of social distancing when you can, bringing along hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes (which many of us were already doing), and having to contend with shorter open times when you get to your destination, waiting a little longer for service, and having to pay for most things with a credit or debit card - sometimes ahead of time, so you have a digital e-ticket to show. Planning ahead has never been more useful or necessary. 

Where will your next trip take you?

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Free National Park Days

Last post we talked about National Plan for Vacation Day. It's pretty awesome that there's a day for it. If you don't have a lot of disposable money right now, you aren't alone, and perhaps a free trip to a National Park is an option for you. These do sometimes take planning, since the parks can get real busy. 

Each year, the U.S. National Park Services open their gates to everyone and waive the daily entry fee to make getting outside cheaper and more fun.

With winter dragging on and some places still getting fresh blankets of snow, you might be ready to get out of town. In preparation for the warmer temps, or for those of you who don't care how cold it is or how much snow is on the ground, let's talk about how you can get out and explore your national parks this year for absolutely free. Each year, the U.S. National Park Services open their gates to everyone and waive the daily entry fee to make getting outside cheaper and more fun.
  • Jan 17 — Martin Luther King Jr Day (if you want to start planning for next year)
  • April 16 — National Park Week kicks off
  • Aug. 4 — Celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • Sept. 24 — National Public Lands Day
  • Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
If you're an avid outdoors lover, then you may already have an annual pass, because you want to explore all the things. If you're like me, you only go to the parks when you're on a road trip, so you can't see the value of spending $80 for the year when you only spend maybe 3 days at a National Park. For you, save some money and plan your trips around these free days. The parks maybe be more crowded, but that can be part of the fun. Unfortunately, more people may mean fewer glimpses of wildlife, but it really depends on the park. 

Pack your cooler with some delicious foods, a blanket, and throw some clothes in an overnight bag if you plan to make a getaway of it (because, sometimes you aren't that close to a National Park), because getting outside just got easier:

Save some money on your pass

Did you know that seniors (age 62 and over) can buy a lifetime pass to the parks for just $10? Now that's a fantastic deal! Want to get a cheaper pass? Well, you might be able to. U.S. Military and permanently disabled citizens can get an annual pass for free. If you have a child in the fourth grade, with the Every Kid in a Park initiative, your whole family is eligible for a free pass. 

Split the pass with a friend and add $40 to your pass cost. Each pass can have two people as owner on it (and they don't need to be related), so if you have a a friend or family member who also wants to go to the parks, but doesn't necessarily want to spend full price, add both  your names to the annual pass and split the cost. You'll each pay just $60 that way and will only have to work out who gets it when (or go together). This is great for families, because the NPS has a lot of offer for kids, not least of which is the Junior Ranger program, where kids engage in different educational activities at each park and receive a stamp in their parks passports and often a badge for completing each one. 

When to skip a pass

If you only plan on visiting during the above times or you plan to visit the smaller parks that don't charge a fee. For the record, there's almost 300 of them. Here is the list of 120 parks that charge admission that you can get into free on fee free days. If you want to try to avoid the crowds, check out these "hidden" spots.

Visit Canada

Canada has National Parks of its own, and they were established before the U.S. NPS. With tons of open spaces, it's a great place to head to get outdoors, plus they also have fee-free deals for under 17s and new Canadian citizens at all 47 parks across the country. Once they are open to Americans again, it's a good excuse to visit and enjoy new outdoor spaces. 

Now that you have some options, all you need to do is plan your trips, find some awesome hiking boots/shoes, charge your camera and get out there. 

What's your favorite national park and why do you love it?

Saturday, January 15, 2022

How to Celebrate National Plan For Vacation Day

January 25th is National Plan for Vacation Day. With January being the best month for booking travel and travel bouncing back from its two-year slump, you might want to definitely give it a go this year. Over the last 20+ months, many of us have found ourselves dreaming of big trips and longing for when we can get back out in the world. 

January 25th is National Plan for Vacation Day. With January being the best month for booking travel and travel bouncing back, now's the time to plan.

If this perfectly encapsulates your life right now, then perhaps now is the time to start planning your next trip and figuring out how to make it happen. With the holidays behind us, travel rates have dropped, because availability - on planes and hotels - has greatly opened up. Even if you're looking to travel during the high season (i.e. summer), flight prices right now will be lower than if you purchase closer to your travel date. You just have to plan in advance. 

Traveling Internationally

If you're looking to travel internationally and want to save, look to go in August, when flights can drop up to 20%. This may be because lots of countries in Europe go on holiday. This doesn't mean you won't have anything to do. Do some research into what things will be open and how many options you have. Generally, tourist attractions are available, but you'll find shorter hours, and many dining establishments will be closed. 

Be Loyal

Do you have a lot of frequent flyer miles or hotel points? This may be the time to use them. Save on either (or both) your flight or accommodation, so you can do more at your destination or eat in more desirable restaurants. (Not that there's anything wrong with those hole-in-the-wall places that are amazing and food carts and the like. Those are some of my favorite places to eat. Here are ways to save on dining.)


Those of you wishing to finally take a cruise will find that "wave season", the first few months of the year, is when most of the great deals will be available and when most of the rooms are booked for the year ahead. In fact, travel advisors book 75% of their cruise business during this time.


I save in a variety of ways. If you're planning right now, then make a plan to also save money for your upcoming trip. There are so many ways to stuff your savings account a little bit at a time that don't really feel like that much work. 

When planning what you want to do on your trip, don't forget to look into the cheap and free activities to fill in your days between paid attractions and dining out.

Still thinking about where you want to go next? Maybe take inspiration from one of your (or my) Destination Date Nights

Soon you'll be hearing about my recent trip to Arizona. I'm also getting ready for a trip to Las Vegas for the Travel Goods Show. If things go well, we'll be taking a summer trip, and we have a vacation to Paris planned in the fall. I'll be doing everything as safely as possible and testing as often as I need to be able to do that. 

What are your hopes for 2022 travel?

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

What Does 2022 Have In Store for Travel?

I'm getting back to travel this year, and I know a lot of you are hoping to say the same. So, what are the new trends in travel for this crazy era we're living in? What matters most to travelers right now and what are they looking forward to?

We want to make the most of the next trips we take and we want them to be meaningful, too. This might be a lot of pressure on us and our travel though.

Reevaluating your travel goals is never a bad thing. Most of us have refrained from going anywhere for almost two full years now. We want to make the most of the next trips we take and we want them to be meaningful, too. This might be a lot of pressure on us and our travel, but it doesn't have to be. We may feel like we want to make up for the travel we missed, and while that sounds awesome, it also sounds exhausting. Slow down a bit and enjoy your travel. Plan, plan, plan, so you don't try to cram everything into your days and actually relax and have fun.

What are you most looking forward to on your first trip of 2022?

Saturday, January 8, 2022

5 Money-Saving Travel Tips

Budget travel isn't always easy. Travel can be expensive and you can't always stay within a budget you want to stay in, unless you really compromise, but we all know this. Luckily, there are ways you can save that are easy and you can do all the time. Here are five of my favorite ways to save money on every single trip I take:

Budget travel isn't always easy, but luckily there are ways you can save that are simple to do all the time.

Travel in the off-season

Sure, everyone wants to travel in the summer, because the kids are out of school and the weather is nice, but this is also true other places. This means that attractions are open longer, but also there are way more tourists and long lines and higher prices. Shift your travel to the off-season, or at least shoulder season, to save up to half off hotels and airfare, plus save your time by not having to wait in giant queues everywhere you go. Do your research ahead of time to find out when peak season is and avoid that like the plague.

Eat local

I am the first one who wants to go out to eat when I travel, but not everything has to be fancy restaurants. In fact, you don't have to eat in a restaurant at all. I'm not suggesting fast food joints, because no. I pick at least one restaurant I want to eat at a day and then I fill in my meals with places that locals have suggested to me (because they don't make commission from their suggestions and tell you to go to places they truly love), food carts, and foods from the grocery and farmers' markets.

Take public transportation

Most cities have great public transportation, and since you aren't on any sort of schedule, getting places isn't a thing where you have to be there at a particular time (usually), so skip the expensive cabs, ubers and car rentals and take the bus, subway, or even just walk. Both of these options are cheap or free and are even a better way to see your destination, because you get off the main path. 

Look for promo codes and coupons

Attractions and activities can be expensive. I make sure I exhaust all options researching for promo codes and coupons for things I absolutely don't want to miss. A lot of times if you book online, you can get a better deal than gate price, even if it's just a few dollars. If you can't find any deals, hit up a nearby hotel lobby to see if they have coupons. We were able to save a lot of money at a great restaurant in Philly this way. 

Do the free stuff

You'll be surprised by how much free stuff you can see/do in a city if you look for it. Museums with free admission, parks with lots of sculptures and other artwork, building murals, free city tours. We've done all those things and more. 90% of the time it's really fun and something you wouldn't have done if you didn't actually look for it. Look online before you leave and don't forget to ask around when you arrive. 

So, while budget travel may be more work than just booking a trip blindly and then complaining about the prices of everything and then never going on vacation again, it's definitely worth it, and it makes your hard work that much more appreciated.

What are your favorite easy ways to save on travel?

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

How I Pack Small

As you're reading this, I'm on my first trip of 2022. We'll be gone for 4 days and I challenged myself to pack everything in a small carry-on* I bought for solo trips. I've been carefully choosing our travel wardrobe over the last few weeks. The weather will be a mix of warm, cool, and possibly cold, so I knew I needed to do some strategic planning. 

I'm on my first trip of 2022. We'll be gone for 4 days and I challenged myself to pack everything in a small carry-on I bought for solo trips.

As always, I chose mix-and-match separates, so we would only need two pair of pants and 4 shirts apiece. I'll also be bringing along pieces to layer, but wearing them on the plane, like my coat and an athletic jacket. Eric will have a cardigan and a coat. We will be doing many outdoor activities, so having the appropriate clothing for the weather is very important.

Here's Eric's selection: an extra pair of pants, 3 short-sleeve shirts, a long-sleeve shirt, and an undershirt for layering. Not shown: 4 pair of socks and 5 pair of underwear (I always like to have one extra). The underwear are in the teal packing cube with mine that you can see at the top of the picture.

My selection: pajamas (joggers and a t-shirt), a pair of stretchy jeggings, 3 short-sleeve tops, and a long-sleeve top that can layer over everything else if need-be. Not shown, 5 pair of underwear and a bra.

I rolled and packed everything into a big packing cube and then filled in the weird spaces around the frame in the bottom of the bag with socks and my pajamas. This gives us a flat packing surface.

I've also packed our swim suits and appropriate footwear: flip flops for Eric and PFG deck shoes for me. Both are great for  going down to the lobby, quick trips tot he store, and walking around by the pool. 

I tried to pack my shoes on top, and while they fit, they fit better in the bottom, so I adjusted everything and made sure the bag still zipped closed. It did, and then there was room on top for our glasses case.

My original plan was to get my regular toiletry bag into the main part of the bag, but it turns out it didn't fit at all, even with all the paring down I did and the travel sizes I used. 

I have, in the past, just put it in my personal item, but instead, I transferred everything we would need into this smaller Travelon two-part toiletry bag that has one side for liquids and one for non-liquids. Insted of taking up space in my tote that will be mostly my laptop, I came up with a creative solution for making it fit in this small bag. I left it open and slid it right into the front pocket. It added very little to the profile.

This left just enough space for my flat iron, and any last-minute items can go in the free space of the zipper slip pocket. 

So, now you probably want to know what's in my tote. If you've seen my Instagram Stories, you will have seen what's in there, but let's do a little deep dive. (This all fits in that Timbuk2 Scholar tote, which is out of stock right now, but I highly recommend their other bags.)

Here's everything laid out:

  • laptop with charging cord & HDMI cable
  • chargers and charging cables in blue bag
  • bluetooth headphones
  • magazines
  • backup battery
  • snacks!
  • wrap to use as a scarf or blanket or sarong
  • masks (I will also have hand sanitizer in my bag)
  • reusable water bottle

My laptop takes up most of the bag, but I already knew that was going to be the case. I bring it along to do work, check emails, make reservations and watch shows and movies (I can hook it up to the TV with the HDMI cable, so we can all watch it bigger.) After I took this picture, I shoved my wrap down to the bottom of the bag, added a packable bag, in case we bring home anything that we didn't leave with, and resituated my bag of snacks and my bag of popcorn. The space I made with the wrap and laptop bag ensures that none of these things get crushed.

This bag has all the pockets and I love it. The profile is slim and it also has these stow-away backpack straps. Because we'll be on the plane, I wanted to make sure I had KN95 masks with me for all three of us (me, my mom, and Eric). This is a great place to stow them where I can get to them easily at the airport, where we can switch out our cloth masks before we board the plane. 

Also, remember, a lot of airlines, depending on who and where you fly, will not allow passengers to wear cloth masks, so always make sure you have some disposable ones on you. These masks are recyclable, so when you're finished with them, you put them back in the bag and return them to the company. I like the patterns, but you can get solid colors, too.

Like I said, this tote has pockets. My electronics bag goes in the front, for easy access. I'll be able to put pens and any necessary paperwork in the bottom pocket. And my reusable water bottle has a pocket of its own on the side, so it's not taking up valuable inside space, and it's always on hand.

One small bag for the overhead and one smaller bag for under the seat. Now when we deplane, we'll be ready to go right from the gate. We can quickly go pick up our rental car and get out of the airport. Land and leave. That's exactly how I like my trips to go.

Do you have any trips planned for 2022?

*While this bag is out of stock at Travelon, I can recommend this one on Amazon as a substitute. Neither will fit under the middle seat though. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that may result in me being monetarily compensated if you make purchases through them. Thanks in advance, as it allows me to keep this blog running. 

Pin It button on image hover