travel

A Day Trip: San Francisco to Sonoma

A Day Trip: San Francisco to Sonoma

I’m a huge fan of day trips. It’s a chance to get away to a destination that’s right in your backyard. Sometimes we don’t get to discover some of the hidden treasures just outside of our home city because we’re so busy planning out adventures that require extensive transport and advanced detailing. Everyone deserves a mini-break from their lives, even if it is only 24 hours.

Stay organized with packing cubes

Keeping organized while on the road can be tricky and can cause a lot of stress regardless of whether or not you're constantly jet-setting or taking a trip once a year. Last year, I jumped on a plane 17 times for both work and pleasure. One of the greatest travel hacks I picked up during my travel were packing cubes!

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Packing cubes are pretty standard in the world of travel, but not many travelers have managed to pick up this little life hack. I get it! It's not the prettiest when you try to recreate the many blogger photos of open pieces of luggage filled to the brim with the most Instagram worthy travel accessories. But packing cubes have been a stress saver for me and personally, I'd rather be mindful of my mental health by staying organized. 

The benefits of packing cubes

Organize

I like to separate my workout clothing, my regular outfits, bathing suits, and underwear/PJs. This keeps my luggage neater and more organized especially if I need to zip it open during a layover. This also helps me from not overpacking when I can keep track of where things go in my luggage. 

Compression 

You can use packing cubes to compress your clothing for any trip. This is especially helpful if you're using a carry-on size. 

Versatility

Although I only use mine for clothing, you can also use them to separate camera gear, electronics, shoes, or anything else you want to store.

Environmentally Friendly

I know some people separate their clothing items with plastic bags or Ziploc bags. Nothing wrong with that, but we've slowly become a greener family and haven't bought plastic Ziploc bags for over a year and a half.

Efficiency

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A majority of my travel these days has been for work and are typically short trips. What I love about my packing cubes is the ability to literally throw my packing cubes into the drawers of my hotel or AirBnb and I'm off to whatever adventure is on my itinerary. If there are no dressers available, all my clothes are neatly organized in my packing cubes and I can pull out what I need based on which cube is holding which clothing category.

 

 

How I pack with packing cubes

So now that I've shared why I love them and why I think it's a must need for everyone let's get into getting all packed up!

One other organization hack I recently learned was to store all my travel essentials in clear containers in my closet. This just helps with time management and efficiency because let's be real, NO ONE HAS TIME to dig out toiletries and beauty products from all their cabinets. I also store my packing cubes in another clear container. We have several packing cubes as everyone in the family uses them in their luggages as well.

LIFE HACK: Store all travel essentials in a labeled clear container so its easy to find and access.

LIFE HACK: Store all travel essentials in a labeled clear container so its easy to find and access.

Step 1: Lay out my clothes

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I lay out all my clothes so that I know what I'm packing and can do a quick overview what I need to pack and what I don't need to pack. I tend to overpack on the bikinis/bathing suits anytime I'm heading to a beach destination, hope I'm not the only one. 

Step 2: Get packing

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As I mentioned above I like to separate my clothing. Activewear goes in one cube, regular clothes go into another. Skivvies, PJs, and socks will go into a smaller cube, and then my bathing suits will have a cube of their own.

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3. Compress down

The beauty of packing cubes is the ability to literally press everything into a sweet little container. So fold your clothing neatly and pack it down.

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4. Zip it up

Zip it up and call it a day, the toss it into your luggage! 

5. Play a quick game of Tetris

The best thing about packing cubes is how neatly they fit into any luggage. You might find yourself playing a little game of Tetris if you prefer to have all of your clothes on on side of your luggage like I do. 

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Packing cubes are a life saver. The other thing that I love about them is that when its ready to pack up and go home, I separate the dirty items into one or more packing cubes and leave the clean items in another. This just helps when it comes to unpacking and doing laundry when I get back home. Last year I had some trips I had to take back to back so I left a packing cube filled with clean items in my luggage, washed the dirty clothes in one, and repacked it with a whole new set of clothes for my next trip! During trips when I have 2 or 3 days at home in between, this was such a game changer. 

A few other travel must-haves

Travel sized cosmetics/toiletries

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Stash all your travel cosmetics/toiletries for travel in other zippered bags. I like to compartmentalize everything when it comes to travel. My hair products will go in one little cosmetic bag and skincare will go into another. This is extremely helpful when it comes to unpacking at your destination or finding things in your luggage.

GUA SHA/JADE ROLLER

These are a must bring on every trip regardless of the duration. You can read all about the benefits of Gua Sha and Jade Rolling in a previous blog post. 

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Lo & Sons Fanny Pack

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Fanny packs are back! I love them and this one, in particular, is great for traveling! You can use it as a clutch and remove all the straps. What I love is that I stash my lipgloss, ID, phone, and credit cards in it and it's easy to access at the airport. 

Hope you enjoyed this travel hack. Share me your favorites in the comments below. 

 

 

 

Hotel Review: Even Hotels Seattle, WA

Hotel Review: Even Hotels Seattle, WA

I love to travel, its probably one of my favorite hobbies and self-care practices and I'm so grateful that in 2017 I had the opportunity to really put on some miles and travel 17 times! As many of you guys followed along on Instagram I was just in Seattle, CA with EVEN Hotels checking out one of their latest property in Seattle, WA and let me tell you, they nailed the entire wellness centered hotel property to help #KeepYourGoodThingGoing.

Soul seeking in Baja, a Todos Santos Travel Guide

Soul seeking in Baja, a Todos Santos Travel Guide

Somedays your soul is screaming to take you away from the life you're living, not because you hate it or because you're so done (well maybe) but other times your soul needs a quick 3 day break to become re-inspired with life.  One of my good friend and fellow creatives, Meg,  sent me a text one day back in spring and it said, "Flights are on sale on Southwest to Mexico, let's go!" and without any hesitation I said, "Ok, FUCK IT, booking flights now." And so was the start of a spontaneous getaway with little to no planning on what we would do, see, or eat in Cabo San Lucas. Months passed after booking our flights and we still hadn't planned a place to stay, so again with little research, Meg called me one day and said, "I booked Hotel San Cristobal, I'm not really sure what's around there, but figured it's better for us to have somewhere to sleep, than nothing, and Vogue said it was cool." 

U.S. Virgin Islands, The Perfect Getaway

It’s funny when the travel bug bites because the moment it does I think it’s natural to start looking for the next travel destination before you even have the chance to get back home and settled from your most recent adventure. It’s at least the case for me and as I sit thinking about my upcoming trip to Mexico with one of my best friends, and San Diego for a family getaway, I can’t help but plan for a bigger adventure next year. Not to mention it’s summer time and every time I scroll on Instagram someone’s enjoying the beach somewhere in the world. 

photo by  @witherin

photo by @witherin

Although I haven’t had the chance to travel much to the ends of the world yet (thanks to making babies at an early stage in life), I’ve always looked forward to the idea of traveling the world when my kids are a little older. Both with and without them. One of the things that has always been on my top 10 was to travel to the Caribbean and after seeing one of my friend’s recent trips, I started to do a little bit of research on the U.S. Virgin Islands and decided that this would have to be some place I needed to escape to at some point in my life. 

There are three main islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands: St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas and each has its own unique character. My husband is a bit of a history buff and the fact that St. Croix was the island that Christopher Columbus sailed through would be enough for him to want to go and explore and learn more about what the islands went through in order to become who they are today. One thing that we love to on vacation is eat, but we love a little bit more of an eclectic and educational dining experience such as the one we had at O’o Farms in Maui. While searching up the dining scene in St. Croix I found this Ridge to Reef Slow Down Dinner experience. I’m a huge farm-to-table fan and I love being able to learn about the bio-individuality of food cultures from all over the world. It’s a great way to learn more about sustainable living and healthy eating from different perspectives.

Photo by @ genevievehope

Photo by @genevievehope

Last year we had the chance to go to Kauai for the first time and one of the things that everyone had mentioned to me prior to our trip was that the island was really untouched and it’s not as busy as Oahu or Maui, which we frequently visit. I’ll admit after hearing that from friends I was worried that I’d get bored or not enjoy myself as much, but there’s something about the stillness that every busy woman needs from time to time. St. John seems very similar to that. It’s got a laid back vibe, pristine beaches, and tons of snorkeling. Which the entire family and I LOVE to do. 

If you’re not into water adventures there’s also a ton of hiking you can do to keep your vacation active. There are several trails you can hike on that range from short easy trails to more difficult all day adventures. Two of the trails that peek my interest are the Reef Bay Trail and the Cinnamon Bay Nature Loop.  

St. Thomas is the more cosmopolitan island out of the three. It’s known for its thriving nightlife and packed events calendar. It’s the gateway isle of the U.S. Virgin Islands with one of the most visited harbors in the world. Despite being only 32 square miles there’s still tons of adventure including the Skyride which takes you 700 ft up above the town of Charlotte Amalie for some of the most breathtaking views. 

photo by @ gabyerice

photo by @gabyerice

photo by @heatheradamcewicz

photo by @heatheradamcewicz

My perfect getaway requires a whole lot of sun, beautiful beaches, great food, and a little bit of snorkeling. What does your perfect getaway include? 

This post was brought to youby U.S. Virgin Islands and POPSUGAR and I was compensated to write this post, but all views are my own.