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.

Zombie Pub Crawl

Night of the living dead.

Halloween is the best season, holiday, month, state of mind. When it’s Halloween season, I will seek out the best spooky experiences. I learned about the Zombie Pub Crawl from my cousin who lives in Downtown Minneapolis. This is the largest “zombie” gathering in the world and is a HUGE pub crawl. Previous years have been held in Downtown Minneapolis, this year it was held at Hall’s Island and the historic Grain Belt brewery complex.

Dressing up for this isn’t mandatory but don’t be lame. If you’re going, dress up. I honestly looked like such an amateur compared to 99.9% of people there! I went with m cousin and his girlfriend. Our makeup was slightly last minute but I was pretty proud of our accomplishments! You would absolutely feel left out if you didn’t participate. Plus, they have a costume contest with first place winning free VIP tickets to the crawl for LIFE.

So, because this is titled a Zombie Pub Crawl (ZPC), I assumed like last years it would befile-2 a pub crawl. As in, walking to different pubs/bars dressed as a zombie WITH other zombies. When we got to the entrance of the ZPC, it was in an enclosed park with three stages, roughly 15 food trucks, 4 bar tents, some entertainment in the form of costumed wrestlers in a ring, and a small carnival area. I did learn later that the ZPC was partnered with three local bars, staples of the surrounding area – and not inside the actual grounds. We didn’t get to explore these bars but we had an amazing time at the festival! (A more appropriate term for what it was). I was obviously a little bummed that it wasn’t a real “Pub Crawl” but the added bars and entertainment made up for it.

Drinks were fairly priced, entertainment was incredible, Shaq was the DJ so you can assume how that was… And the BEST part is that the iconic Grain Belt Brewery created a beer for the event called the Zombie Pub Crawl from the Brain Belt Brewery. Spoiler alert, it was amazing. I would absolutely recommend this event to anyone in the Minneapolis area or surrounding. It was definitely worth the trip from Michigan to experience this unique party.

Why you Should Road Trip Iceland

Driving through Europe.

I have been out of the US before, let’s be clear on that. Have I ever gone anywhere other than an all inclusive resort in Mexico or right across the border in Canada? No. (FYI I live in MI so getting to the Canadian border takes 30 minutes – not as exciting as other parts of Canada mostly because of how accessible it is.)

Anyway, long story short, I somehow ended up on a trip to Iceland with an old friend. We’ve known each other for 10 years but haven’t talked as much recently. Spoiler alert, felt like 0 time had passed. Basically, I was bit HARD by the travel bug last year. I recently looked at Skyscanner and found a cheap flight to Reykjavik. Not knowing ANYTHING about Iceland, I posted on Facebook and said, “I want to go to Reykjavik!”. (This was after googling Iceland and seeing the gorgeous country). A few people commented on it saying they were going to Iceland, a few said where the hell is that, and others said that’s on my bucket list! My friend, Taylor, messaged me and said “Hey, I’m planning on going in September for photography and northern lights and stuff. Wanna come? It will help me split my costs”. Um, yes. Basically we booked it a week later.

Votnajökull National ParkFirst thing you need to know about Iceland, transportation while in the country isn’t as expensive as you would think IF you’re renting. If you’re not, good luck. A bus, taxi, etc… all pricey. Plus, having a person waiting for us with the rental was so nice. We spent

almost $700 for a car and camper van for a week. We also added on WiFi and a plug extender. So $350 a person for a week of traveling, lodging, and internet, not bad.

Driving Iceland is also a plus because your plans can change at any minute. You have flexibility so you don’t have to be anywhere at any time. This was so helpful! We added things onto our trip that locals recommended and being able to drive a little further at night to a different campground, was so nice and easy. Wake up at Skogafoss and be the first person there. Eat breakfast while looking at Vatnajökull. Go to bed right next to a black sand beach… There’s nothing cooler.

So, cost, experience, and flexibility, makes driving Iceland worth it. I would recommend this over a hotel or AirBnB any day.

Getting to know Alyssa Ramos

Talking to my IDOL.

Alyssa Ramos is a full time travel blogger with more bucket list check marks than anyone I have ever met. Her startling list of press features will intimidate anyone – her most recent being in Cosmo. Her passion for travel and adventure has not only changed my life but has empowered me to want to see the world.AR3.png

In 2015, Ramos wrote a brilliant piece for Huffington Post that went viral and that’s how I found her. The post was titled, “Yes, I’m Pretty and I’m Traveling Alone“. The post is satirical, humorous, and inspiring. After that, I have been hooked. Her Instagram is filled with accomplishments from all over the world. If you’re lacking travel enthusiasm, look to her.

I’m extremely grateful to say I was able to interview Alyssa about her “alternative” lifestyle. And she assured me, after 86 countries and 7 continents, she isn’t settling down.

What sparked your passion for travel?

AR: “I wanted to do and see more than just have fun living in LA, so at 26 I decided to take my first solo trip to volunteer in South Africa, then go to Thailand and Australia, and I was hooked ever since.”

What is your number one travel tip for solo adventurers?

AR: “Do your research, make sure you’re well planned — not because you need to be, but because it’ll make you feel more assured, confident, and excited. Also remember that the world is NOT a scary place! I feel safer abroad than I do in the U.S.!”

What country have you found to be the most inviting?

AR: “Indonesia… it’s basically a mix of locals and expats living in harmony these days.”

AR2.pngWhy did you take your first solo trip?

AR: “I ended up going solo because I couldn’t get anyone to go with me!”

What is the number one thing you have learned from traveling?

AR: “What an amazing freaking world this is, and that I was never meant to stay in one place.”

What’s something you’ve learned about yourself from traveling?

AR: “That I am a chameleon and can easily adapt to any location and situation. I also have learned that just by living a life filled with taking chances, risks, and leaps of faith, I can inspire others to be better people and do more with their lives.”

What has been your most successful blog post to date?

AR: “According to Google Analytics it’s “10 Best Stops for an Arizona/Utah Road Trip” and “25 Awesome Things to do in Havana, Cuba!””

What is your favorite mode of transportation and why?

AR: “Whatever gets me there fastest, so probably planes, although I have a lot of fun on trains and motorbikes. Definitely not cars or buses since I’ve been in two roll-over accidents in them recently.” *She’s okay everyone!

AR1.png

What has been your most rewarding travel moment?

AR: “Stepping foot on Antarctica, my 7th continent, and recently succeeding at raising over $6.5k to buy disaster relief supplies for Lombok earthquake victims, and seeing them delivered.”

Lastly, window or aisle?

AR: “Window 100%. Flights are my prime designated blog post writing time!”

If you would like to know more about Alyssa Ramos [My Life’s a Travel Movie]  – and you should, check out her about page on her blog or follow her on social media. Or both. And can I just say again how awesome it was to talk to her?! You probably wouldn’t guess that travel bloggers working 16 hour days every day of the week would be so willing to help out the newbies, yet, here she is.

Here’s her Instagram, Facebook, YouTube account, and Website. I hope you find her as incredible as I do!

 

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.