Plane Fashion

Plane travel. But make it fashion.

Back in the day, people got dressed up for flying. Think about it, it’s a huge metal container propelling people through the air from one destination to the next. It’s kind of a big deal, so I understand making this an event. Now, I’m not saying you need to go to this extreme. Because, really, it was an extreme. But cute and comfortable travel fashion looks have been all the rage. I’m an advocate for looking your best while traveling, mainly because I have activities planned the second the plane lands, but also you see a lot of people and putting your best foot forward isn’t the worst idea.

The one day I decided to look like garbage for a quick hop from Spain to Portugal, my flight was cancelled and we ended up staying a night in Lisbon. AKA we got ready in the airport bathroom… Travel cute my friends.

Anyway, my plane “lewk” consists of a few basic things. A scarf, boots or sneakers, leggings, layers, and a light jacket.

First, lets talk about things to avoid…

  1. Heels or backless shoes
  2. Anything constricting (tight jeans, etc.)
  3. Only shorts and a tshirt
  4. Lots of jewelry

Heels and backless shoes are kind of an obvious one but I still see it every time I travel. Think worst case scenario. Plane is going down and you have to go out the emergency exit or a slide into water. Are heels comfortable or efficient in a split second escape? Do you want to take your shoes off, or have someone step on your feet and you lose a shoe, and have to walk on who knows what? It’s better to be prepared. Plus, on long haul flights your feet can swell and if compressed in a shoe and socks, it’s gunna feel a lot better than if you were wearing flip flops.

This is similar to why you would avoid anything constricting. Free movement is essential if this worst case scenario occurs. Also, you can get blood clots in your legs if you’re not moving them for an extended period of time. Wearing leggings or something with compression that is comfortable, promotes a bit of wiggling.

Now, only shorts and a tshirt? What if you get cold? What if the plane catches on fire? Add a layer of protection people.

Lastly, lots of jewelry. I got stopped behind someone in security once that had on 10 Alex and Ani bracelets. While they’re cute, she had to sit there and take all of them off to go through the metal detector. Before you go through security, think, how can I make my life easier? Then do that.

Now, for my average plane “lewk”, I consistently have a few basic things. A scarf, boots or sneakers, leggings, layers, and a light jacket.

As you can see, Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf, leather jacket, and layers. And you can bet your butt I’m wearing leggings and sneaks. My scarf, as I’ve said before, is my one must have. It’s so soft and comfortable and can be a blanket or a scarf or a wrap or a pillow. I easily get hot and cold on planes so layers is my best friend.

See, looking cute doesn’t mean an hour of hair and makeup and wearing high heels. It’s comfort and practicality that will save your sanity. Now remember, next time you’re getting ready for a flight, think, is this making my life easier or harder? If you have to really think about it, ditch it! You’ll thank me later.

How to Eat Alone

Table for One.

Are you someone who cannot stand silence? I personally love my alone time but also love meeting new people and enjoying the company of my friends. Solo travel means sometimes, you will have to eat alone.

First thing you have to get over; weird looks. Honestly, it happens. I would love to say people don’t find solo travelers odd but that’s not true. Traveling alone and getting a table for one in a restaurant is still pretty taboo. But once you realize it’s going to file (1).jpeghappen, it’s easy to get over. I’ve never gotten any direct comments on my unattended restaurant adventures, however, I have heard one indirect comment. One couple said just within earshot, “Why isn’t she at the bar alone instead?”. I didn’t respond because 1. valid, 2. it may not have been about me. Traveling by your lonesome doesn’t mean you have to sit at the tiny tables in the back corner or the crowded bar if you don’t want to. While yeah, it makes sense to take up as little space as possible, you’re a valued customer with just as much right to be there.

When I’m alone I like to get light meals, maybe an app and a drink at the bar, maybe bring a book and sit in a back corner by request. This is all your choice. Sometimes, it’s fun to sit with a stranger at a coffee shop. I’m currently doing that because of a shortage of tables. Her name is Angie and she’s super nice and bought me a coffee because she saw I was applying for jobs.

If you’re uncomfortable sitting alone, bring a book, listen to a podcast, bring a computer and get some work done, scroll Instagram. You have options to keep yourself occupied. But also, take solo dining as an opportunity to be okay with silence. Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. Learn to find comfort in your own company.

Lolla in Chicago

The music festival to end all festivals.

While I have been to Illinois and Chicago many times – I have never been to Lollapalooza. In a turn of events, I ended up going alone, and I had an incredible time. Here is my experience plus some tips and tricks.

First things first – screenshot the map and schedule/lineup for all the bands. We bought tickets for Friday only and were able to see where the stages were and when our favorite bands were playing. Because I went alone – I was able to see my favorites and explore a bit more.

A photo of the entrance to Lollapalooza. A artsy cartoon boombox.

Plus, do some research for hotels in advance. I could see the main stage from my room. This photo was right inside the gate across the street from my hotel entrance. Also – I would highly recommend the Congress Plaza Hotel because it’s in Grant Park and there’s a ton of security because of the location meaning you feel super safe. Also, it’s an old hotel that is really ornate and interesting.

Okay, so you’ve got your hotel, you decided which day to buy or what pass works best, you know which bands you want to see. How do you make the most of your time?

Go early and make a plan of action. The two bands I wanted to see the most were at stages that faced each other so they rotated. I got to see James Bay and then The Neighbourhood started playing right as he finished. Once The Neighbourhood was getting close to the end of their last song, I left and beat the crowd out because the next artist on the opposite stage was Post Malone. I got to watch him from afar because I didn’t feel like getting trampled. After I saw the songs I wanted to see I made my way towards the main stage and got caught up at a small stage and watched an incredible band I had never heard of. THIS is why I love festivals. You get to hear so many artists you would have never heard of. Two of my favorite bands I found this way; Bad Rabbits (Warped Tour) and R. LUM. R. (Lollapalooza).

A photo of a moose with the Lyft logo and people waiting in line for tacos.

Make sure you have a full battery and possibly an external charger if your hotel is further away. You will need to take a Lyft, Uber, L train, cab, something back. I would recommend whatever ride share company is partnered with the event. For Lolla, Lyft was their main choice meaning they had a Lyft pickup lot that was close to the event and gave out free water, energy drinks, tacos and tamales, and small souvenirs while you waited for your driver. I was able to use the restroom, get some food, water, listen to music, and got free hand sanitizer, beer koozies, and keychains.

Thankfully, my biggest tip is back in style. FANNY PACKS! (or if you’re British Bum Bags). There are thousands of people here and I ended up wearing my small backpack backwards due to some missing items and opened pockets. (Nothing major, just a missing zipper string and oil blotting face papers).

Either bring money or pre-load it onto your wristband and make sure you have the essentials for being out in the sun. I had the best time here and I felt totally safe being alone. I made a ton of new friends because everyone there is super friendly. Lollapalooza is definitely not one to miss.



Global Entry

Plus TSA Pre-Check.

This is one of the best travel investments ever created. First things first – what is global entry? US Customs and Border Protection states it is a “program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low risk travelers upon arrival in the United States”. The benefits for this include no processing lines, no paperwork, access to expedited entry benefits in other countries, reduced wait times. Basically – skip customs. Yes, you can still be selected for additional screening, but it will save you a lot of time and hassle.

To get global entry you have to apply and pay a fee. You will fill out extensive information about yourself and confirm the start of a background check. If you are approved from here on, a few weeks later you will have to have an in-person interview where they ask you questions, take your finger prints, and let you know your acceptance or denial.

My friend did her interview with US Customs and Border Patrol at the airport. I did mine at the Enrollment Center under the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit and Canada. It was quick and painless and I got approved that day.

Another bonus with having global entry is that your known traveler ID gets you TSA pre-check. So basically all my domestic flights that were already booked, I just added my known traveler number and got TSA pre-check added to all my boarding passes. No taking off shoes, removing liquids, body scanners… It makes a frequent flyer’s life so much easier.

Not just US citizens can have global entry. If you’re a citizen of Argentina, India, Colombia, U.K., Germany, Panama, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, or a Mexican National – you’re in luck. You are eligible.

Reasons you may not be eligible; false or incomplete information on your application, having been convicted of a crime, being found in violation of any customs regulations, or if you’re part of any ongoing investigation.

Global entry is more prevalent than other services that offer similar expedited experiences. There is Clear, FastTrack, Nexus, etc – but I would recommend global entry. Your $100 fee gives you global entry for 5 years.

This is 100% worth it from my own personal experience. If you have the desire to travel, do yourself a favor and apply!

Visa 101

How to get a Visa.

Visas have a lot of information and stipulations. I’m hoping this guide will help you in your travels.

Most countries you will attend will have a requirement for a visa. Some have to be purchased ahead of time, some can be bought upon entry, and price can vary quite a bit.

The best site to find the specific requirements for each country (from the US) is the US Department of State or from the UK is the travel advice section for the UK Government. Type your intended travels into the search bar and select your country. This will bring up everything you may need including travel advisories.

Let’s use Egypt as an example. For Egypt you will need to have at least 6 months validity left on your passport after your trip is to end, one blank passport page, and a visa. Egypt is one of the easier countries to obtain a visa because it can be purchased upon arrival in the airport.

China, however, is more difficult for a US citizen to gain a visa. Again, validity is 6 months but requires two blank passport pages. Each visa type has different instructions and can generally be found online. Depending on which visa you apply for you will have to send in your actual passport to a Visa Office of Chinese Embassy/ Consulate General based on your State of residence, proof of US residency, hotel bookings, flight information, etc.

All of this information can be found on China’s embassy page, however, my traveling friends have told me the easiest way to go through China’s process is to go to a Consulate or use a Visa service like Travisa or CIBT Visas.

Last piece of advice is to make sure you have plenty of time for these processes. Russia states it may take up to 20 business days for a visa application to be approved whereas some other countries don’t list a specific time frame.

I wouldn’t let visas deter you from traveling, instead, use it as a way to explore more about the country and their processes before arriving.

Vaccines and Travel

Worth it?

Um yes – they are mandatory. There are both recommended vaccinations and required vaccinations depending on your location.

The best way to find necessary vaccinations is by checking visa requirements. There are some helpful sites with this information and make sure you pay special attention to the time frame the vaccination is needed and keep all proper documentation.

Vaccines all travelers should have – Hep A, Hep B, Rabies, Influenza.

Here is a list of current vaccinations needed if coming from the US.

  • Afghanistan – Polio
  • Albania -Documentation required
  • Angola – Yellow Fever
  • Bangladesh – Hep A, Typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis, Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk or under 1 year
  • Benin – Yellow Fever
  • Bhutan – Documentation required
  • Bolivia – Yellow Fever
  • Botswana – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Benin – Yellow Fever
  • Burkina Faso – Yellow Fever
  • Myanmar/Burma – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Burundi – Yellow Fever
  • Cameroon – Yellow Fever
  • Central African Republic – Yellow Fever
  • Chad – Yellow Fever
  • Colombia – Yellow Fever, Documentation required
  • Republic of the Congo – Yellow Fever
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo  – Yellow Fever
  • Costa Rica – Yellow Fever
  • Djibouti – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Ecuador – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Equatorial Guinea – Yellow Fever, Polio Booster
  • Eritrea – Yellow Fever
  • Ethiopia – Yellow Fever
  • French Guiana – Yellow Fever
  • Gabon – Yellow Fever
  • Gambia – Yellow Fever
  • Georgia – Hep A, Pre-Exposure Rabies
  • Ghana – Yellow Fever
  • Granada – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Guinea – Yellow Fever
  • Guinea Bissau – Yellow Fever
  • Honduras – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk, measles, rubella, typhoid
  • India – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Ivory Coast/Cote d’Ivoire – Yellow Fever
  • Kenya – Yellow Fever
  • Lesotho – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Liberia – Yellow Fever
  • Madagascar – Yellow Fever
  • Malawi – Yellow Fever
  • Maldives – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Mali – Yellow Fever
  • Mauritania – Yellow Fever
  • Mauritius – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Mozambique – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Namibia – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Nicaragua – Yellow Fever
  • Niger – Yellow Fever
  • Nigeria – Polio, Yellow Fever
  • Oman – Yellow Fever
  • Pakistan – Polio
  • Panama – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Peru – Yellow Fever
  • Philippines – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Rwanda – Yellow Fever
  • Sao Tome and Principe – Yellow Fever
  • Saudi Arabia – Depends on your visa class
  • Senegal – Yellow Fever
  • Seychelles – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Sierra Leone – Yellow Fever
  • Singapore – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Somalia – Yellow Fever
  • South Sudan – Yellow Fever
  • Sri Lanka – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Sudan – Yellow Fever, Cholera
  • Suriname – Yellow Fever
  • Tanzania – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Thailand – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Togo – Yellow Fever
  • Uganda – Yellow Fever, Polio
  • Venezuela – Yellow Fever
  • Zambia – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk
  • Zimbabwe – Yellow Fever if coming from a location with risk

These are the current 2018 required vaccinations, however, some countries have other precautions you should be taking. Ex. Peru has some areas prevalent with the Zika Virus, Malaria, Dengue Fever, etc.

When looking at which vaccinations are required, be sure you’re getting them in the correct time frame for them to function properly and protect you.

Countries that require documentation of vaccinations generally follow the WHO International Certificate of Vaccination but could vary. The CDC recommends all US adults to have the following: Hep B, Rotavirus, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Haemophilus Influenzae, Pneumococcal Conjugate, Inactivated Poliovirus, Influenza, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, Hep A, Meningococcal, HPV, Pneumococcal Polysaccharide.

There are several places to get these vaccines. If your primary care physician doesn’t have access to these you can find a clinic online. The best source I have found is the CDC. You will have to find a clinic that is an authorized vaccine center so you can get proper documentation.

For all vaccine information from the CDC please visit their current information statement site. This will give you all information as far as how to document your vaccinations, if you’re eligible for them, who should avoid them, etc. Also, no matter what, be careful of your drinking water and food as this is how most diseases spread.

Vaccinate or don’t vaccinate your children – this is NOT that kind of post.

Just be aware of your health and required vaccinations for travel.

Carry On Essentials

Long or Short Flight – You’ll Thank Me.

It has taken me quite a few flights to figure out what exactly I absolutely need in my carry on. Mostly I pack everything for my trip in only as carry on, but I have the absolute necessities in easily accessible spots.

A photo of Mario Badescu aloe, cucumber, and green tea facial spray, burt's bees cucumber mint chapstick, a sandcloud water bottle, and cvs hand sanitizer

  1. Hand sanitizer
  2. Mario Badescu facial spray
  3. Mouth wash
  4. Baby wipes
  5. Water bottle
  6. External charger
  7. Snacks
  8. Change of clothes
  9. Bathing suit (depending on location)
  10. Neck pillow
  11. Scarf
  12. Headphones
  13. Chapstick

These are my holy grail, never leave home without, staples. Let me tell you why.

First, hand sanitizer – planes and airports are cesspools of germs. Plus, sometimes when traveling you never know when the plane’s soap will be out or the next time you’ll be able to get totally clean.

Second, facial spray. The one I have shown – cucumber, aloe, and green tea is my all time favorite but there are plenty of others. Plane’s recirculate their air and mix in fresh air. While it’s clean – it dries out your skin. Not to mention the long days, new routines, and change in diet while traveling. Facial spray also keeps you awake, refreshed, and energized, and your skin moisturized. Another fun fact, I don’t go anywhere without chapstick so that one is obvious.

Next – mouthwash. Long or short flight, sleep or no sleep, keeping your mouth clean is pretty important. You can (unfortunately) get morning breath any time of day depending on when you eat, sleep, drink water, etc. There are some great travel mouthwashes that take up very little space in your liquids bag. Fly mouthwash, any 1(ish) oz bottle, or SmartMouth packets.

Fourth thing I need to have on flights, different kind of wipes. Clorox wipes, facial cleansing wipes, and body wipes usually do the trick. Clorox wipes to wipe down your tray table so you don’t get sick, facial cleansing wipes and body wipes so you can take a mini “shower” in the plane bathroom so you’re nice and fresh when you get off your plane.

Next, water bottle. Important because a bottle of water at an airport is what, 19 dollars? Kidding but not really. An empty bottle you can take through TSA and fill it up for free. It’s nice to save 100 bucks when you can.

portable chargersSix – portable charger. Self explanatory. (But make sure you check airline regulations for whichever country you’re flying into – there are some new laws out about these!)

Seven is snacks, also self explanatory.

Eighth thing I need on planes is a change of clothes. Once you take your baby wipe shower, you can put on some fresh undies, clean clothes, and get ready to conquer your day. Also, it’s good to have a back up plan just in case your checked luggage gets lost. Nine can be combined in this one also; another outfit to have, bathing suit bottoms for underwear if you’re desperate, or even chill in your bathing suit on a beach or by a pool while you’re waiting to check into your hotel/hostel/AirBnB.

Ten – neck pillow. Most travelers I know have multiple for different flights depending on their seat. I personally only have one and it’s amazing, however, does take up some space. I just attach it to my backpack on the outside but you’ve been warned. This one is perfect for me for every seat I fly in although I am very curious about the Trtl Neck Pillow so if anyone has any experience with it, let me know!

Next is a scarf. I use the Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf for ALL of my travels. This hack I got from @mylifeisatravelmovie. It can be used as a scarf, as a cardigan, and as a blanket. It’s soft, versatile, and squishy when all bundled together. Sleep on it, wear it when you’re cold, use it as a fashion statement – this is a MUST HAVE.

Lastly, headphones. Duh.

Let me know if you have any carryon must haves. Maybe I’m missing out on a hack I didn’t even know about.


Travel Apps

What to do?

Travel apps. Some are useless while some are absolute lifesavers. I’m starting a series on here where I am going to review some of the most popular travel apps along with some you may not have head of. If you have any suggestions for me, drop them in the comments below. Without further introduction, here are my top 3 travel apps.


The best travel app when you’re traveling with others is Splitwise.

I blocked out my friends names but this is what Splitwise looks like when you add in groups and trips. You don’t pay each other through this app like Venmo, you just add in expenses and it carries over to all trips you have planned with them. For example, in “Cruise” I booked a Naples Tour for all four of us. How they are paying me back is by Person 2 is paying me back by buying my flight to Barcelona from Paris and buying our hotel and comedy show tickets in DC.

Person 3 is actually going to be doing my hair and adding it to Splitwise instead of me paying her cash. This app just makes everything much easier when booking trips, abroad or domestic. You would rather book all four spots in a tour at once and all four flights at the same time rather then everyone fending for themselves. This takes out the guess work and most importantly, it takes out the MATH. Thank the lord. This is the easiest way to stay organized with expenses.


This app is a lifesaver and any travelers best friend.


Skyscanner checks every travel app and airline to compare prices. Sometimes when I’m trying to plan a vacation and I know I have off certain days but don’t know where I want to go, I look on Skyscanner. This is how I’m planning my NYE and Birthday trip. Another great feature is when you know where but not when. I want to volunteer in Nepal so I’ve been tracking what months are the cheapest to fly to Kathmandu. It’s harder to stay loyal to one airline when you search for the cheapest flights but I’ve never had a bad experience. I would rather travel more than pay more per trip for a short flight.

That being said – you can still search for specific airlines. Lets say you refuse to fly Delta, you can uncheck it on the side so it won’t show Delta flights. If you don’t fly Delta – why? You can also check a little box that says “Add Nearby Airports”. I sometimes do this because in Michigan there are several airports and sometimes one is cheaper than the other. I suggest downloading this and playing around for a while to get the hang of it.

Google Maps

I can’t make a list of my top three travel apps without including a map app of some kind. There are a lot of mapps (lol I’m clever) that work great. I will be looking into more of them coming up but I have found the best one for me currently, is Google Maps.


The best part about this app is that you can download maps for use offline. This way you don’t have to use data or wifi to know where you’re going and thats huge. Looking like a lost tourist makes you a target. Knowing where you’re going gives you a lower profile and also, makes your life a bit easier.

Another plus is looking at things nearby. This helped me a lot in Denver. I would just pull up Google Maps to find a place to get an appetizer and a drink alone. Anything close/in walking distance, sign me up! Plus, what better way to see a city than roaming around?

I swear by these three apps as well as a few others. You can basically plan your entire trip using these three as well as even out expenses among friends and travel partners. I highly recommend giving them a whirl.

Let me know if you have a holy grail that I need to try next and I’ll add it into my rotation.

How to Afford Travel

Budgeting? It sucks. Traveling? Worth it.

I am 25, single, and moving out within the month. I’m in debt from my student loans, I have a dog, and I support myself fully. I pay for my phone, car, groceries, etc. And I still make traveling a priority. While yeah, I can put extra money towards my student loans instead of traveling, I know I’m going to have that burden no matter what. I would rather pay the minimum and live my life.

I know I am privileged because I do have a college degree and a good job. I know it’s also easy to say well, make traveling a priority and you can figure it out. But honestly, it’s the truth. My first trip by myself I went to DC on a whim. I found my plane tickets by going to and putting in the cheapest location for the time I had off work. DC was the cheapest and I bought roundtrip tickets with a checked bag for $170. I have learned some things since then. My upcoming trip to Boston? My ticket was $130. My one way trip to Paris? $200. Barcelona to back home? $250. A cruise around the Mediterranean for 7 days including food and drinks? $600. ALL of my housing accommodations in Iceland? Less than $500 for 7 days/ 7 nights.

Great Falls Park in Virginia and Mayan Sanctuary in Isla Mujeres

You’re probably wondering how. First with flights, if international, fly out of Canada or Chicago. You’ll save yourself around $1,000 bucks. Flight to Paris from Detroit? Last I looked it was $800 one way. Paris from Toronto? $200. Iceland from Chicago? $350.

Second, hotels. Look for the sites where you don’t know what hotel you’re getting. I usually use Priceline express deals or Orbitz secret deals. They give you a price, a location, reviews, amenities, etc. but don’t tell you where it’s going to be. I just booked a 4 star hotel in Chicago during Lollapalooza and saved over 50% of the room rate if I would have booked through their direct site. (Also there are tricks to find out what hotel it actually is. Open up another browser to their direct site, not the deals site, pick your location, amenities, how many stars, etc. Usually only one pops up and viola, that’s your hotel.

Third, cruises. My friend Lauren introduced me to this cruise line that has insanely CHEAP accommodations. Why so cheap? It’s a Spanish speaking cruise line. I am going with 3 other American’s and our cruise is through Europe. I’m currently learning a little bit of Spanish through DuoLingo but honestly, I’m excited to relax and learn.

Before I tell you how I save, try this. For a month write down everything in your phone you spend money on. At the end of the month look back and see how many times you spend a dollar here and 10 bucks there on random things you don’t actually need. You will honestly be surprised.

Okay, now how I do it.

Well for one, I gave up fast food and name brand groceries. I cook for myself for almost every meal. I stopped drinking at bars and paying for my friends drinks or food (which I only did occasionally but still). I save up in advance for any known occasions where I will need to buy gifts or I buy the gifts in advance. Example, I have a Bridal Shower coming up and last time I got paid I put away money for the present. I also use Digit and Acorns to force me to save money. I only get paid once a month so right after I’m paid, I pay all my bills, put aside food and gas money, put aside travel money, and then whatever I have left I try not to spend. Whatever is left, more travel money or savings.

I don’t live a glamorous life. I drink my off brand coffee that I bring from home instead of Starbucks. I offer to DD for my friends. I sell clothing, trinkets, and old electronics online. I am constantly trying to minimize what I own so I really try not to spend a lot of money on extras. If these are the small sacrifices I have to make so I can see the world, so be it. I would rather travel than have material goods.

Now if only I can find a job where I can be remote… Hello Nomad lifestyle. #FutureGoals