24 hour getaways are like mini vacations for the mind and soul. They are like little tiny pockets to hide away in when the world is getting a little too rough on the edges. This year I didn’t travel as much as the previous years because I was knee deep leveling up in my career and getting my life coach certification and truthfully I’m feeling the pangs from it. Travel is one of those things that light my soul on fire and its honestly good for my personal wellbeing. This year instead of indulging on larger getaways I fed my hunger for travel with little 24 hour staycations.
Earlier this month we celebrated Global Wellness Day at the Four Seasons Aviara in Carlsbad, a small little coastal town just north of San Diego. It was our first trip as a family this summer and we decided to hop on a plane the day after the girls ended their school year. Probably not the best idea, but hey leave it to us to try something at least once. We missed our original 6AM flight. It was stressful a bit chaotic, but it all worked out.
We arrived to San Diego and checked into the Four Seasons a day before Global Wellness Day. For those of you who don’t know, Global Wellness Day was established in Turkey as the “first” day dedicated to living well. It’s celebrated on the second Saturday of June every year. The purpose of Global Wellness Day is to ask the question, even if for just one day, “How can I live a healthier and better life?”, to direct the thoughts of both individuals and society towards “living well” and to raise awareness.
The moment we checked into Four Seasons Aviara we were immediately greeted with the most amazing service and healthy snacks provided by Chef James from the on site restaurant Seasons. The perfect snack that we needed before we headed off to the pool to unwind before our family paddle board adventure.
One of the things I appreciated about the pool menu from the Four Seasons Aviara was the healthy options they offered such as the raw veggie wrap that I ate that was filled with garbanzo beans, sprouts, hummus, and a whole lot of greens. I like to think that my family eats “healthy-ish” and having a variety of options that fills everyone’s needs is always a must for us when choosing a place to eat or stay on vacation.
After our pool time we did one of the most fun things we could’ve ever experienced as a family, stand up paddle boarding. It was our first time experiencing this. If you’ve never tried stand up paddle board, I highly suggest it. It’s actually a lot easier than it looks and there’s something so peaceful about gliding over the water. Stand up paddle board lessons were a part of the Global Wellness Day offerings, but something that Four Seasons Aviara could set up for their guests at any time. The lessons happen at a lagoon not too far from the hotel and they arrange transportation to and from the lagoon.
After our stand up paddle board lesson, we headed back to the Four Seasons to freshen up for dinner at the Seasons.
The Seasons is located at the Four Seasons Aviara and features a farm to table menu that emphasizes on what’s local, seasonal and organic. We had an incredible dinner experience filled with delicious food and exceptional service.
Four Seasons Aviara hosted a range of different activities for Global Wellness Day from yoga to mala bracelet making. They also offered a different brunch menu for the day that offered healthier options to celebrate Global Wellness Day and to show their hotel guests how easy it is to integrate healthy and tasty options. We participated in the Family Yoga session they had, Olivia wanted to make mala bracelets, and we got to do a cooking class as a family which was my personal favorite activity.
The Plant Now, Thrive Tomorrow cooking class with Chef De Cuisine James Waters was our favorite activity. It was a hands on interactive demonstration that the girls and I got to enjoy with a small intimate group. Joanna Traiilov taught us the importance of incorporating seeds into our diet and how beneficial it is in helping balance out women’s hormones during their menstrual cycles. The girls loved every moment of this cooking class. I think for any parent who’s struggling to integrate healthier options for their older children or teenagers, cooking classes are one way to teach them how to be healthy.
As we ate the grain salads that we made, Chef James prepared an Ahi Poke dish for us that was perfect snack for our afternoon pool session.
We only spent two nights at the Four Seasons Aviara, but I could’ve stayed for an entire week! The service was amazing, the food at the Seasons was absolutely perfect, and they had everything on site that I needed from a gym, yoga deck, and two pools to enjoy. Not to mention Seasons which also offers an incredible dining experience in the kitchen and the kitchen counter which allows you for a more intimate dining experience with the ones creating your meal.
The main goals for Global Wellness Day are
To recognize the value of our lives
To pause and think, even if for just one day of the year
To be free from the stress of everyday city life and bad habits
To make peace with ourselves
To raise awareness about living well and increase motivation, not just for today, but for the remaining 364 days of the year
I would have to say that the Four Seasons Aviara definitely hit all those points for me and gave me a moment to sink in and drop into myself. I left feeling inspired to evaluate some of our family’s wellness lifestyle. I feel like a broken record saying this, but 2019 hit us hard as a family. Life has been incredibly busy in a seasons of growth and change as individuals. Our first year as high school parents, I went back to school, Jonathan has been working on changing up and rebranding his photography business, and Olivia still remains the joyful little girl that she is.
We couldn’t have been more grateful to take a day to slow down, break free from a little bit of the stress, and pause to take a moment to reevaluate the things we value in life, our wellbeing. I’m thankful for the generosity of Four Seasons Aviara for inviting us to celebrate Global Wellness Day with them.
We were able to get away from our day to day lives to focus on our wellness as a family, but you can do also do this together anywhere. Wellness isn’t just about trips or getaways, although for me its a huge part of my own self care practice, wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. Look at the different areas in your life that you want to improve and start with small little steps to do that. It could be as simple as getting into a better sleep routine.
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.
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!
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
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.
You can use packing cubes to compress your clothing for any trip. This is especially helpful if you're using a carry-on size.
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.
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.
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.
Step 1: Lay out my clothes
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Lo & Sons Fanny Pack
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.
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.