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.

 

California

Exploring the West.

If you follow me on Instagram then you know I recently took a trip west. Far west. More west than I have ever been before. I had a Memorial Day weekend in California. (Southern California to be exact).

While this is a huge state, I believe I explored my fair share being there for only 3 days.

33816531_10156666558923689_4071882833470160896_n.jpgHere’s a picture of me looking cute in Malibu.

Okay, now that we have that covered – here is my itinerary/how you can see as much as I did in a short amount of time.

Huge shoutout to my cousin who chauffeured me around SoCal all weekend.

Day 1 – Fly in, Lyft to my cousin’s apartment, play with her dog, shower, head to Long Beach with her husband. Julia (my cousin friend) works at this cool ass shipping container food market called SteelCraft. I ate lunch there and had a few beers because the time difference was not in my stomach’s favor. (Aka it had been a long ass time since I ate anything).

After this little rendezvous we headed to Ballast Point brewery in long beach. This was super cool because craft beer in MI is huge and my ex always loved Ballast Point. It was cool to experience it. This is pretty much all we did this day.

33944199_10156666559328689_1719300224909836288_n.jpg

Fast forward to night time, my roommate flew in, we went to bed, the end.

Day 2 – Santa Monica and other typical Southern California things for tourists. This day we woke up, got ready, hopped in a car, and drove out to Malibu. We had brunch, walked through the Adamson House Gardens and saw the gorgeous house. We hopped back in the car and drove to the Point Dume state beach in Malibu – got sunburnt, drove back towards Santa Monica. Saw the cute stores and restaurants, watched the sunset on the pier, and got to see a seal just playing in the water and chasing fishermen’s bait. We then went for ice cream in Venice on Abbot Kinney Blvd at Salt and Straw.

Day 3 – We started the day at Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. We met my cousin and I don’t remember the exact order of events but we saw Melrose and all the famous Instagram spots, walked throug33747764_10156666555508689_4452018796722388992_n.jpgh Downtown LA and went in The Last Bookstore – aka an incredible masterpiece. We then did Mulholland Dr and saw the Hollywood sign from the Bowl Lookout. We also saw West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

The best food I had was fried lobster Nik Niks and some great tacos at a small place.

The next day basically it was get up and head to the airport – that’s why I said we were there for only 3 days. The things I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND, is seeing Melrose and Rodeo Drive. It’s just so beautiful and interesting. Santa Monica was probably my favorite little city/sector of the larger picture that is Southern California. Also something insanely cool – The Murder House from American Horror Story is in LA. So go see it.

Find as many little shops as possible, ask about strange records in The Record Collector (they probably have it – like the copy of War of the Worlds I bought by Orson Wells), go check out some rare books at The Last Bookstore, and if there’s a huge line for ice cream, it’s probably worth it.

Happy exploring.

Baseball Game Out of State

Wrigley Field.

In July of 2016 I attended a Cubs game at Wrigley Field and it was incredible! We watched the game from the Budweiser Bleachers, drank beer, ate ball field food, and got sunburned.

Obviously this was during a Chicago trip and it was a perfect day outside. I have only been to Tigers games in Detroit so definitely wasn’t expecting that kind of atmosphere. I would highly recommend everyone attend a game at Wrigley.

 

30 Before 30: 2 Down, 28 to go!

Traveling Alone

Taking on DC by Myself.

Something I have always wanted to do, is travel alone. As you can gather from the title — it was DC. It was so incredible and I recommend traveling alone to everyone.
I only took one photo of myself, one horrible photo. I will never forget all of these experiences though.

 

My first day there I got in around 10am ish and then checked into my hotel and went hiking at Great Falls Park in VA and um, incredible. I explored amazing ruins, waterfalls, cliffs, you name it. I went back to my hotel after a few hours absolutely exhausted. That night I met up with a friend at the Dacha Beer Garden in DC and drank cheap beer, talked about life, my recent relationship status (single), and jobs. I decided moving out of state is where I’m going to end up.

 

The next day I went to Arlington then walked across the bridge to see the National Mall. I’m glad I went alone because I was able to look for family friends who unfortunately are buried in Arlington, I witnessed two funerals, and got to spend more time at memorials that meant more to me. After seeing every monument at the mall and then some, I walked over to The White House (front and back). I drank some gatorade in the shade and ate some fruit and honestly had the best time exploring alone.

 

The armed guards and fences around The White House surprised me the most to be honest.
That night I went to the mall in Tysons Corner and bought some bath bombs, face masks, wine, and then saw a movie by myself — Dunkirk, frick yeah! After the movie I went “home” and drank some wine with a face mask on and watched bad hotel TV.

The next day was supposed to be kind of crappy and rainy so I decided to hit the Smithsonians. When it rains, no one wants to wait in line to get in so I never had to! I saw the zoo, (mostly for the ellies), the Natural History Museum, and the American History Museum. I love seeing the collections for Women’s Suffrage, the First Ladies, African American History, and basically everything at the Natural History Museum but especially the TRICERATOPS.

I bought myself an elephant ring and pin to remember this amazing trip. The last day I had in Virginia I went to the Mosaic District in Fairfax. They had this amazing and huge farmers market where I bought coffee and spices to take home to the family. I saw another movie at the Angelika Film Center and had brunch alone with mimosas and macaroons.

So… Why DC? It was actually a trip on a whim. I was recently dating someone for a long time, 5 years. We broke up on or around the 11th.

We were supposed to go to the country music concert Faster Horses together the weekend of July 21 – 23. While the friends we booked it with were mutual, they were his friends first so I sold my ticket to someone for the amount I paid and I bought a plane ticket to the cheapest place I could fly to out of Lansing. I found a cheap hotel in a neighboring town, booked that, and decided this would be enough to keep me distracted so I wasn’t so heartbroken during that time.

Traveling alone teaches you so much about yourself. It shows your strengths, weaknesses, resourcefulness.. I recommend this to every single person if possible. Take some time for yourself, explore somewhere new, and spend time learning to love the person you are today.

30 Before 30: 1 down, 29 to go!