Travels

My Favorite Go-To Outfits for Traveling

Before I started traveling all the time, I NEVER knew what to wear while traveling or even when it came to packing for my trip. I would always tend to “over-pack”, or even dress in lots of layers because I never knew whether I’d be cold or hot and I kind of panicked at the thought of not being able to immediately solve that problem by bringing along a coat or shedding a few layers. The result was that I was always lugging an extra suitcase and one too many jackets or coats around the airport.

 
My Favorite go-to outfits for traveling on all of my adventures around the world
 

Now that I’ve had so many successful, adventurous travels under my belt, I’ve been able to develop a sense of “travel style”. I know myself and I know what my go-to pieces are going to be, and I’ve even had the chance to purge my closet for Juni, which helps me pack more purposefully with pieces I already know I’m going to love to wear on my trip.

Today, I’m sharing my three favorite outfits for traveling (whether by plane, car, train, or boat) and why you should make these your go-to travel outfits for your next big trip!


Keep it Basic

I’m a big fan of “basic” pieces because they’re so easy to pair; you can dress them up for a night on the town after you arrive at your destination or throw on some sweats to stay comfy for the road. Lately, I’ve been turning to a lot of our Juni products to stay comfortable, but fashionable while traveling, including this basic tee (available in white and a deep blue/grey), these Kan Can jeans, and usually a fun neckerchief to keep it classy.

go to essentials for traveling keep it classy and comfortable with this favorite traveling outfits



Dress for Cooler Weather

If you’re traveling somewhere cooler or in an airplane - where I usually tend to get a little cold - I like to pack light sweaters like this one. They’re perfect for wearing on a cooler day without needing to bring an extra jacket, but as soon as the temperature drops even more, they’re light enough to wear under your coat without feeling like you’re going to burst out of all the bulkiness.

perfect lightweight sweater for the beach or for fall sweater weather the best outfits for traveling on the road or on an airplane



My Signature Travel Look

If there is one piece I never travel without, it’s this denim jacket. I’m a firm believer that everyone should have at least one denim jacket in their wardrobe. The magic of this type of jacket is that you can stay warm OR cool while wrapped in its folds. It sounds crazy, but something about that denim fabric helps me stay comfortable in a pretty wide range of temperatures, so it always makes its way into my carry-on or back seat as I’m driving to my next adventure.

It’s another one of those pieces that is ultra-versatile, too, so it goes with almost every outfit I may bring along on my trip!

the perfect jacket for traveling is a denim jacket it is cozy and warm while keeping you protected from the hot sun

What are your go-to pieces for traveling?

let’s plan an adventure together!

 

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How Traveling Strengthens Your Marriage

My husband and I are coming up on our SECOND wedding anniversary, and in that short period of time, we’ve been on a bajillion trips together, both in and out of the country. Traveling with your sweetheart can be such a tender, romantic thing, but when you travel as frequently as we do, it actually turns into a crash course on communication and conflict resolution. In a good way, always a good way.

 
traveling with your spouse will help strengthen your marriage by teaching you communication skills and allowing you to grow closer together
 

We love traveling so much and love to share all about our travels because we do it in a way that doesn’t break the bank. One of the biggest questions I get all the time is how we find the time or money to travel so frequently, and while that’s another post topic entirely, it actually falls hand-in-hand with what I wanted to talk about today.

Traveling with your spouse allows you several unique opportunities for growing as individuals and as a couple. Take a look at what I’ve learned below and if that doesn’t make you want to run away together as globetrotting romantics, I don’t know what will.

Using an agreed-upon travel budget shows respect for each other and our mutual goals.

Most newlyweds hit this point of understanding fairly soon after the wedding where all of a sudden they realize that finances need to be communicated and shared. No more weekend retail therapy when hubby’s saving for grad school. The latest video game will probably need to stay on the shelf at the game store until you get a handle on all the rent and deposits and bills that you’ve both taken on, together.

Very early on, Matt and I established that (a) travel was a priority for both of us and (b) that we respected each other and ourselves enough to not put any large amount of pressure or burden on our budget by traveling irresponsibly. We started to set aside a small amount every month dedicated exclusively for planning trips, and it was well within our budget to do so at that small increment. This travel budget allows us to spend quality time together that we need without stressing either of us out financially.

You have the opportunity to explore new places, together.

Whenever we go somewhere that one of us has been before, that person kind of acts as a tour guide, and the other relies heavily on the repeat visitor’s guidance to get around. When we travel somewhere new, however, we each kind of take on some ownership and responsibility to do the research on the place we’re visiting and find good deals and places we want to see.

We learn to trust each other’s judgement, too, because we tend to be “off-the-beaten-path” explorers, and it comes in handy to have a second person to bounce ideas off of and to adventure with.

We get to benefit from quality time spent together in a fun setting.

Traveling together is dedicating time to focus on just you two. No one has to wake up at 7:00am for work the next day, and neither of you need to worry about who did the dishes last. You can simply be together and enjoy the activities you have planned.

Vacations are a time for relaxation, and while they say that you should strive to make your normal, everyday life feel like a vacation, you’ll never fully achieve that level of “we have no obligations to anyone today” freedom until you dedicate time away from home.

Make it a priority to take a well-deserved break from your daily life to go somewhere new and exciting with your spouse and you won’t regret it! Traveling has always been a great way for me and Matthew to further our relationship, and it’s one of the things I look forward to most of all whenever we book a new trip.

let’s plan an adventure together!

 

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5 Things I Do to Stay Adventurous + Spontaneous

Honest moment: As much as I love it, running a business sometimes can go against my nature. I’m a very laid-back, spontaneous person at heart, and sometimes I’m just not down for all the organization and planning ahead that comes with keeping a successful business. I love to live life to the fullest, and I believe I can do that by giving myself freedom to follow my heart instead of my head.

Even though it seems counter-intuitive, I do think that I’ve flourished as a photographer and as a small business owner because of this adventure-led passion that has coaxed me into chasing dreams I might not otherwise have thought possible if I were doing everything “by the book”.

Today I’m sharing five ways I structure my life to allow more spontaneity in my schedule and activities and to fuel my adventurous side.

I wait to fill in my schedule until the last minute.

Just coming out of a busy summer where I had back-to-back sessions almost daily, it’s hard to get back to a schedule where some nights are free or where I have entire weekends without an out-of-town trip planned. I actually love this, even if it means I don’t have work, because I get to create my own.

Just recently I was faced with an open Friday night and Saturday and I knew it was open for a week or so, but I just left it open, and when that time rolled around, I was hit with an urge to drive all the way down to the Grand Canyon to do a sunrise shoot on Saturday morning with some friends who were willing to also drive through the night to meet me there. It was one of the most beautiful sessions I’ve ever done, and I think that allowing myself the inspiration to leave that time open was such a gift.

Another thing I love to do with free time when it gets down to it is to gift a session on social media or to a friend. I call them up and say, “Hey, wanna go shooting tonight?” and then we both get some lovely photos and I feel like I was productive. I love these no-pressure sessions where I can try out new things and practice new skills without worrying about wasting the client’s time.

My husband and I set aside each month into a Travel fund.

One of the biggest responses I hear when I suggest to people that they go travel somewhere is that they don’t have the money, or that traveling is too expensive. Sometimes I consider it my life’s mission to educate everyone on how to have a big adventure traveling somewhere new without breaking the bank, but I know that it’s still going to require money in the form of preparation, travel expenses, time off, etc.

To combat this, or at least give us a fighting chance at actually taking those trips we always wanna take, Matthew and I have a standing travel fund within our family budget where we keep money dedicated to trips together and it makes it so much easier to spontaneously book that fun getaway when we know we already have some money saved up.

I follow a few travel sites and social accounts that post awesome deals, and I love that I have the freedom to take advantage of these deals when they come along since I already have that money set aside so that it’s not eating away at our personal budget where we need money for food and rent, etc.

I practice purposeful minimalism in my routines.

I know some people shy away from “minimalism” as if it means “less” or “nothing”, and it sounds super hippy dippy for me to mention even now, but I truly believe that by establishing a purpose for everything you let into your life, or by getting rid of the “clutter”, you can actually be more free to do the fun, adventurous things.

When I travel, I know I can get by with packing light and be just fine. I don’t wear a ton of make-up, but the products I do use are small and compact and made for easy travel. I’m an expert at making an outfit out of anything, and it really helps when I’m only packing a few outfits for a week’s stay.

I don’t have too many “habits”, either. The things I do regularly or as part of my daily routine are all easily commuted to a new location or put on hold while I’m away on an adventure. To me, it’s just simpler to not be committed to a gym membership, an expensive habit, or a pet that would require me to make lots of extra planning and preparation before I head out. I know that may change as I enter into a new season of life, but for now, this is the routine that works for me.

I prioritize relationships and connections with clients/friends.

I’ve always felt a strong pull to maintain certain relationships with past clients, and now I know why as some of these clients have become some of my greatest friends. I don’t consider time between visits or physical distance to be a burden to weaken a friendship, and as a result, I’m able to maintain these relationships with people who are willing to drive through the night to meet me at Horseshoe bend, just for fun. People who share my passion for adventure and spontaneity hold a special place in my heart, and I’m so grateful for them.

Also, you never know who has connections and where when you’re planning a trip, and I’ve found it helpful to ask friends for recommendations of where to stay and what to do. Sometimes it saves us money, and other times it just makes the trip ten times more special as we get to do something or meet someone significant.

I always look forward to my next goal, and I’m never content with just standing still.

One of the main things with being adventurous is that you have to want it. You have to yearn to go outside your home and do something fun, even if it requires taking a risk or being courageous in a way you’re not used to. If I was simply satisfied with where I’m at and never looked to learn or grow, I’d never be living such a wonderful life as I am now, with a thriving business, and a wonderful relationship with my husband.

Sometimes I feel a bit insecure about my inability to stay put, and I know it can drive Matthew crazy. But I honestly feel like my best self, like I’m living my best life, when I’m striving for more and expecting the universe to give me more in exchange for my spontaneity and adventurous efforts.

If you feel stagnant or like you’re bored with life, I urge you to consider adjusting your routine or your expectations to allow more freedom and spontaneous adventures like this. It will change your life in ways that you never expect, as I find mine changes all the time outside of my control. It’s wonderful and exciting, and it’s the only way I want to live.

how to stay adventurous and spontaneous for a more active life with energy and adventure and risks
 

read about some of my other recent adventures:

 

want to invite me on your next adventure?

Products That Make Traveling So Much Easier

Whether you're a seasoned traveler or total airplane virgin, heading off on a new adventure can be equal parts exciting and stressful. So, it's important to be prepared! Check out my top 10 favorite traveling products; they are sure to rid those anxious jitters and make you feel like a first class flyer. Even better? They are all available on Amazon. 

 
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1. Portable Charger, $20

While traveling, my phone doubles as both my security blanket and entertainment. A portable charger ensures that I will never be without power and also provides a sense of reassurance. To me, that's money well spent.

2. Toiletry Bottles, $12

When it comes to traveling, investing in quality toiletry bottles, so that I can use my own shampoo & other sudsy favorites, is a no brainer. These ones come as a bundle (razor + toothbrush covers included!) and are not only leak-proof, but they also abide by the TSA's liquid guidelines. 

3. Luggage Handle Wrap, $10

Too many films begin with luggage mix-ups; don't let that be you! Save yourself the drama, and spot your luggage easily with brightly colored, neoprene luggage handle wraps. My favorites come in packs of five and appeal to those even on the tightest of budgets.

4. Hydroflask, $36

I cannot sing enough praises for my Hydroflask! I own just about every size to suit me on any adventure. These babies are crazy (double-wall vacuum) insulated to keep your cold things cold and hot things hot. And just in case pink doesn't tickle your fancy, they come in a bajillion colors. 

5. Flight Flap, $20

Attaching to most airline seat backs and tray tables, this mount accommodates even the largest tablet or iPad, but is still small enough to pack away. It's perfect for hands-free viewing (and especially handy if you're traveling with kiddos).

6.  Headphone Splitter, $11 

Make new friends on your flight and/or save your travel buddy from watching a silent film. This headphone splitter allows you to share audio from your phone or tablet with up to five other people. 

7. J Travel Pillow, $26

Save yourself from being the laughed-at, open-mouthed-bobble-head that inevitably makes its way onto every flight. Allowing you to twist and contort its shape, the J Travel Pillow is ideal for sleeping upright and is as good as travel pillows come. 

8. Travel Adapter, $13

Travel adapters are a cheap convenience. Use this baby as a charging hub for your phone and laptop, or to power all your go-to beauty gadgets (ahem, blow dryer) while overseas. 

9. Digital Luggage Scale, $10

Forgo the overpriced airport snack, and spend your $10 on a digital luggage scale instead. Your money will get you a lot of mileage by taking the guesswork out of packing your bag and saving yourself both the time and headache of reshuffling items at the airport.  

10. Noise Cancelling Headphones, $349

A total luxury item, these headphones aren't for the faint of heart..but are for those who: plan to take a nap, work on their flight, block out the upset infant on their neighbor's lap, or want to forget they are flying. Basically these are amazing, so if you're feeling spendy, add them to your shopping cart NOW.

 

Check Out My Other Useful Tips and Tricks:

What it's Like to Work With Your Husband

My husband, Matthew, and I met when we were both freshman in college. We became best friends, eventually started dating, and haven’t been separated since! Matthew is my best friend, the one person in this whole world that I can spend 24/7 with and it’s still not enough time. And when I say 24/7...I really mean it. 

We are both self employed and work from home. We spend all day together, working right next to each other. Matthew plays a HUGE role in my business, he second shoots at weddings with me, advises me in the next steps I should take, and puts in so much work behind the scenes to make this happen. So what is it really like working with my husband? Honestly...it’s amazing! I highly recommend it! But there are some things to figure out, I’ll share what’s worked for us. 

I’m Not the Boss

Even though I primarily run the business I am not his boss. I think when we put ourselves into the “boss” category, we loose the relationships we have with others (spouse or not). Instead, we are equals in all things. We try to maintain respect in all we do, in every situation. 

Handling Stress 

During stressful moments at weddings respect can be difficult to maintain. I’m more of a high-strung individual, whereas Matthew is more calm (a great balance for any business). Because of this, it is so easy for me to become overpowering...In stressful moments I find I can remind myself to back off by asking “what do you need?”. It puts the needs of Matthew first, it makes me become self aware of how I’m asking. Also in these situations, Matthew has learned it’s okay for him to pont it out so we can shut it down. We don’t let harsh feelings brew. Instead, we communicate so we can move past and not let it become a thorn in our relationship.

Passion

I think the most important thing for me to realize is that while Matthew is in my business, he does not have the same passion for it as I do. And that is okay!  When Matthew first started working in my business I tried to put this passion on him. But that’s not how it works. It’s totally okay for him to work in the business, but not be as passionate as it. He doesn’t have to love it, and just because he doesn’t love it the same way I do doesn’t mean he doesn’t like it. 

Working Hours

Just like in any job, we also have work hours. We try to keep a similar schedule to each other, and when works ends we do our best to turn it off. It’s easy to work all the time when you’re self employed, especially mentally. We do our best to turn it off so we can enjoy our evening.

Communication

So many things about communication! So just hang with me on this one.  

1. Communicate your schedules. When we’re together all the time it’s easy to assume we’re on the same page. But we still have to discuss our schedules and plan our weeks. 

2. If you’re always together you might run out of things to talk about. “How was your day?” Is not a relevant question because I was there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s important to remember to do things apart still so you do have something to talk about.  Luckily Matt and I don’t really have this issue too much, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Time Apart

While I really could spend every second with Matthew, we have to have time apart. Whether that’s working in different rooms, hanging out with friends separately, or whatever it may be. We maintain our self care separately so we can be better together!  Hobbies help a lot with this.

Our Relationship Comes First

Above emails, clients, all things business, we put each other first. It’s suprisingly easy to let your spouse fall to the side when you’re an entrepreneur. Be sure to make quality time for each other (working side by side doesn’t count as quality time!), and nurture your relationship.  

 

And that’s it! I love working with my husband, I definitely recommend it. Don’t be afraid to jump into it, but be aware of these things. Every relationship is different, and so is every business. Find what works best for you! Thanks for reading!! 💕💕

 

see some of our adventures together below:

 

want to invite me on your next adventure?

5 Tips For Planning An Awesome Honeymoon

Let’s be honest here, the best part about planning a wedding is getting to plan the honeymoon! You can’t wait to travel with your new spouse and celebrate together!! But with so many options, and limited time, it can be difficult to plan. I LOVE to plan trips, which kind of makes me an expert in honeymoon planning! Here are my best tips to planning a honeymoon you’ll both love!

1. Decide on a Budget

DO THIS FIRST! It’s even harder to decide where to go when you don’t have a budget. But don’t just pull a number out of thin air! Look at how much you can realistically save monthly from your current budget, and multiply that by the amount of months left before you leave. Set this money aside so you have the money already ready! Don’t start your marriage in debt just for one awesome trip!! When you have your budget you’ll be able to see where you can afford to go.

2. Sign up for flight alerts!

Im subscribed to so many flight alerts that I could justifiably be called crazy! But this is how we travel so cheap!! Sign up from the airline themselves, but also be sure to check out Pomelo, Skyscanner, and the like. Keep an eye on these. Know your “buy by date” (the day you need to have a flight booked by. Usually a month before for domestic, somewhere near 2.5 for international)  and then be patient. Keep an eye on these emails and alerts regularly, then when you see a deal you can’t pass up go for it! Don’t start worrying too much until you’re close to your buy by date. As you look at these flight options, don’t forget to look at hotel prices and cost of activities there. You may save on flights but these things could drive up the cost of the trip so fast!

3. Ask around

Your friends and family might have some great resources! Such as lake houses, condos, timeshares, etc. Just a quick post on Facebook could bring some great options!! Don’t be afraid to ask, the worst they could say is no. 

4. Ask someone else to plan it for you

If both of you don’t care too much where you go and aren’t big fans of planning, ask a loved one to plan your honeymoon for you! This makes is a fun surprise for both of you. Give someone your budget, and a list of likes/dislikes and set the worry aside. If you have a friend like me who LOVES to plan trips, I’m sure they’d be so excited to do this for you! There are also companies that offer this service.

5. Finding activities

The best part about vacationing is exploring the new area. Do lots of research online to see what people say is fun in that area, look on Groupon, etc! A good rule of thumb is to plan one excursion type of thing a day. The key to planning a honeymoon is to leave your schedule flexible. Allow yourself to play it day by day, doing more if you’d like or spending more time relaxing!  

Dont feel like you have to go all out on your honeymoon! You will have more chances to travel throughout your marriage, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. But also give yourself permission to splurge a little! Find a balance you’re both happy with. No matter what, as long as you’re together you’ll have a good time!

Congratulations and happy planning! 

How I Started Living My Best Life Every Single Day

This saying has popped up in the last few months (or maybe it’s been around a while and I’m just catching on?). It’s meant to build you up, to help you live life to the fullest, but it's vague and full of unrealistic expectations. I mean, how can I possibly live my best life every day? There’s no way I could skip work and just adventure all day; no matter how much I might want to. How do we even know when we are living our best life? I stress out about everything and anything, so of course, this idea of living my best life stressed me out, until I was in Hawaii.

We went to Hawaii for a full week. It was the only time where I truly put work on pause and took a REAL vacation. Not a trip for work that included having fun, but a fun-only trip! I was floating on my back in the warm ocean on our third day there. We had just swam out to where the waves broke in the distance, the sun was beating down, I could feel my heart beating hard from the swim. I became intensely aware of the way the warm water danced on my skin and engulfed my body. I took a deep breath in, and time stopped right in its tracks. I finally had the thought, “This is me living my best life”.

But here’s the thing: my best life isn’t in Hawaii. Because, despite my efforts to convince my husband to move to Oahu, that isn’t my real life. I can’t always be on vacation. I realized at that moment, floating in the Hawaii ocean, that I was living my best life day-to-day. Each day that I woke up and got out of bed, I was winning. Every time I laughed with my husband and was cuddled up next to him, I was winning. Every hour I put into my business, I was winning. My best life looks like me laying on the couch at the end of the night binge-watching Parks and Rec for the 5th time through. You see? Your best life is right where you are!!

We find our best life when we put down our phones and let go of unrealistic expectations, we find it when we soak in the moment (EVERY MOMENT!). We have the chance to make each day our best life, and if today doesn’t work out, we have tomorrow. But tough days don’t mean we aren’t living our best life. We are allowed to have bad days; what really matters is our attitude towards them and how we use those days to make ourselves better.

Don’t wait for someone else to give you validation in your life; live your best life today. So what if the dishes go one more day in the sink if you got to spend 20 extra minutes snuggling your littles? If you sat behind a computer all day and sacrificed so it meant you could help provide, you’re winning. Your best life is where you are. As soon as you realize that, you can start living it.

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check out more of my recent adventures below:

 

want to invite me on your next adventure?

My Five Tips for Making Frequent Travel Affordable

Today I'm talking about some learned skills and resources I've discovered recently as my business has grown. A good majority of my work is out of state, so I'm actually traveling quite a bit. A lot of people ask me how I'm able to afford traveling so much, and while sometimes clients and session fees factor into that, I'm honestly not traveling the way most people would on their clients' dime, and I'm definitely not traveling the way most people think.

As my photography has attracted a wider reach, I realized I needed to become more accessible to potential clients living further away from me. My husband and I love to travel, and we definitely wanted that to be something we did together, so in order to keep travel costs affordable for both me and my clients, we have started to implement a few handy tips and guidelines for when we travel. I'd like to share them with you here in the hopes that it helps you realize that (a) a life of travel isn't as unattainable as you think, (b) I work hard to make sure that my far away clients aren't paying an arm and a leg to get me there, and (c) setting your mind to a goal (like traveling for work) and working hard to get there is just a matter of discipline and practice.

 

tip #1: only spend the money if you have it

In this day and age, it's super easy to feel like everyone is having fun without you, and comparing yourself and your idea of a "vacation" to someone else's is not fair on you or them. Not only do different jobs have different pay and days-off structures, but even beyond that, people value different things! You may feel more of a pull to have the newest phone or a nicer car because it makes you feel more safe, whereas someone else would rather travel through Europe and spend the next five years driving a junker. That's totally fine!

Matt and I decided long ago that we wanted to make travel a priority, and we have a special category in our budget for setting aside money specifically for travel. We like to be spontaneous, but only when we have the money. So we'll keep saving and saving, and following a few different travel deals companies, and if the right thing comes along, then we have the resources available to quickly make that decision to go ahead and book!

If you're having a hard time finding a way to make travel work in your limited budget, consider a few alternatives to setting aside some income, like earning some extra income! I love talking about side hustles and running my own business, so reach out to me if you have any questions.

 

tip #2: check for deals on flights

Flights can usually be one of the more expensive parts of a trip, so I put a lot of priority on finding good deals on them. I'm subscribed to over 10 promotional airline email subscriptions, and resources I really recommend for finding cheap flights are Pomelo Travel and SkyScanner. I actually have a paid subscription to Pomelo Travel because I get first dibs on new flight deals, and it's earned it's worth back over and over again.

 

tip #3: travel with friends or to friends

Another pricey part of vacationing or frequent travel can be the hotel stays. If you're not traveling for business, and you can't write off or use a business expense account for this part of your travel, it really adds up and can inhibit how often you have adventures. My husband and I love using Airbnb as our go-to resource for finding a place to stay in whatever city we're traveling to. We also consider whether we know anyone or can get in contact with a friend of a friend at our destination who would let us stay with them for a night or two.

You can also make plans with a friend or someone who is headed the same way to get group rates or split the cost of your accommodations.

 

tip #4: prioritize experiences over food

We love to eat, and we know that sampling local cuisine is a huge part of traveling, especially to exotic locales! Where most of our travel is to other cities in the US, we like to prioritize the opportunity to take in the sites instead of eating at famous local diners and things like that. We'll still eat fancy a couple times during the trip, but one of our first stops when we land and get to our new home for the next few days is stop by a grocery store. We almost always grab bread and stuff for lunch meat sandwiches, some apples, some crackers and granola bars, and any other on-the-go type snacks that don't require a lot of preparation. This saves us A TON and this shopping trip is usually under $20 and lasts us the whole trip.

 

tip #5: know your limits and the time you can be away

I touched on this briefly before, but figure out your days off ahead of time (or if you're lucky like me and make your own schedule, check in with others that you have responsibilities to and determine how often you can be gone). Budget your time just like you budget your money to make sure that you don't get burnt out from traveling too frequently. We've learned that our limit is 4 days for a trip. After we've been gone more than 4 days, the trip isn't as fun anymore as we get antsy about getting back home to our bed, other responsibilities, and our normal routine. We also know that we can get grumpy if we're traveling too often in one month, so we plan ahead to make sure we're not gone too much of the month, and we don't have trips lining up back-to-back.

 

One last thing I want to touch on is the "glamour" that everyone assumes is involved in a life of travel. As much as I love it and as fun as it is to vacation, remember that it's not always going to happen as perfectly as you planned, and that travel itself does not define your success. Don't get hung up on the perfect pictures to document your trip, or keeping up with the Joneses in where you travel and how often. Take trips for yourself and to experience things with your family as a way to make memories.

Which of these tips speaks to you the most? What travel tips would you share with other readers?

 

check out more of my recent adventures below:

 

want to invite me on your next adventure?

How to Spend a Week in Hawaii for only $1000!

If there's anything I love more than traveling...it's saving money!! Sometimes money can be a taboo topic, but not here. I love to talk all things money, because when you allow yourself to have a conversation about money it stops being scary. I'm going to break down our Hawaii trip and tell you exactly how we spent 8 days in Hawaii for just under $1000, including airfare, adventures, and accommodations!!

If you've read my travel blogs before, you know where my priorities are. But if you haven't, let me recap for you! We are very picky about what we spend our money on, especially on vacation! We spend our money on what we value, which for us is mostly experiences. Which means we tend to bypass souvenirs, Instagram-worthy meals, and lavish hotels. That doesn't mean its wrong to spend your money on those things, it just means that's not what we value when we travel. We tend to skimp in those areas so we can have a lot to spend in other areas!

This trip we did something a little different, which I would 100% recommend doing!! We only used a credit card for ALL of our purchases. We have a travel bank account, and we only go on a trip when we know we can afford it. So in our account for Hawaii we had $700 after buying tickets, so we had a budget to stay under. We liked putting everything on the credit card because instead of seeing that we had $500 left to spend, we saw that we had already spent $200. When we saw exactly how much we had spent, we were more careful in our spending. It was a total mind game, but it worked!! Plus we got all the travel points from our trip, so DO IT!

We also tried something else new this trip. WE COUCH-SURFED! We used couchsurfing.com for the first time. We were a little nervous to do this, but after doing it I never want to go back. For those that don't know what couch-surfing is you should check it out here! We stayed for 7 nights in Hawaii for FREE! And we had the best time doing it. We met so many great people and built amazing friendships. The couch-surfing community is so welcoming and SO FUN! We easily saved $1000 by doing this. 

As always, we saved money by buying groceries. Even groceries are expensive in Hawaii, but it saved cost a lot. When we ate out we split meals. In total we spent $121.78, which comes out to $7/day for each of us. We definitely could have done a little better, but overall it wasn't too bad. 

We played A LOT this vacation! We wanted to experience everything so we didn't hold back. Our big splurge was the Polynesian Culture Center ($224), but it was definitely worth it. We got a lot of our excursions from Groupon, we went on a catamaran ride (normally $95/ea but off Groupon it ended up being $18/ea), and parasailing (normally $135/ea, we got it for $32/ea). We had rented a car from Turo and drove all over the island. And we went snorkeling so we bought equipment ($8 vs renting for $25). But everything else was free! I highly recommend renting a car, you'll save so much more than taking an Uber everywhere. 

The only thing else we spent money on was our airfare. I saved this for last because..I'm not going to lie...it's something I'm kind of proud of. As you know, I am the QUEEN of finding cheep flights! This trip was no exception. DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!! We scored flights for $200 round trip! CRAZY RIGHT?! When I found those I just had to jump on it, I didn't have any other choice ;) We found these deals through Pomelo flight alerts (at this point they should just sponsor me because I'm so in love with them that I tell you all about them ALL the time!!!). But seriously, if you aren't signed up for Pomelo, stop waisting your time!! Go sign up.

We had the BEST time in Hawaii, and it's so hard to be back. It was 100% worth it! Throughout our time there we had several people ask us how "two college kids could afford a trip like this". We love showing people that you can afford to travel! Even to expensive places like Hawaii. If it's what you love to do, and what you value, MAKE IT HAPPEN!! It is definitely possible. 

Total trip cost break down:

Airfare: $394

Accommodations: $0

Rental Car: $150

Gas: $62

Food: $122

Fun/Other: $360

Hawaii on a budget

see more of my adventures below:

How We Spent a Week in Washington, D.C for Just $415 (Including Airfare!)

Don’t blink twice: yes you read that right! Matthew and I traveled to D.C for the 4 days for $415, this includes airfare, 4 nights accommodation, 3 square meals a day, transportation, and FUN!

To start, let me just tell you…I am the (self-dubbed) QUEEN of cheap flights. Matthew and I aren’t picky, nor do we have high expectations, we just love to travel! I was doing my daily flight price checking three weeks ago, which entails going through my promo emails and daydreaming about trips that will never actually happen. I search Skyscanner.com, and I’ve signed up for the airline emails of Southwest, Alaska, and Frontier. This particular day I had an email from Frontier for 90% off a flight! Now, I am totally aware that 90% off is never ACTUALLY 90% off. It’s totally a bait and hook advertisement, but it gets me every time.

I started looking at some flight itineraries and found ROUNDTRIP tickets from SLC to DCA for $100. Did you read that $100! So of course I called Matthew right away, and we decided to just go for it. We bought the tickets. All in all our airfare cost us $211.42. Here’s the thing about Frontier, they’ll get you there cheap (which is awesome), but their amenities are also cheap. In order to avoid extra chargers (which can add up very quickly), we don’t choose our seats ahead of time and we don’t pay for a bag. How do we travel for 4 days out of just a backpack? Let me introduce you vacuum packing. We only pack the essentials, and we pack everything in these vacuum bags which cuts down half the space.

Once we had our flights, we had to figure out where to stay. Holy cow, hotels in D.C are EXPENSIVE. I’m talking $200+ a night expensive. This part is cheating just a little bit, but my step-dad works for a national hotel chain. He has a few free nights that he wasn’t going to use before the end of the year, so he let us cash those in! We stayed in Victoria for FREE! But, we did look on AirBNB and found some deals for around $50/night. Not too bad.

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Next was transportation. Because both of us are youngins and can’t rent a car yet *insert eye roll here*, and we were staying a little ways out of the city, we had to do some research. Our research told us the metro was the most affordable and versatile mode of transportation to get everywhere we needed to. We had to refill our cards often because we didn’t know exactly how much to get, all in all our metro fare totaled $60. This got us most everywhere we wanted to go. We ended up taking quite a few Ubers, but I had found some promos and we did UberPool, so our total Uber fare was $35. Transportation total: $95!

You know those beautiful travel Instagram accounts with all the amazing food spreads and gelato piled high? They get to me! But here’s the thing…the cost of food can drive up the cost of your trip SO much! I’d much rather be able to take another trip than spend an arm and a leg for Instagram food pictures. Here’s how we eat on vacations. First of all, we try to find somewhere to stay that has continental breakfast. Then, as soon as we arrive our first stop is the grocery store. We pick up sandwich stuff (bread, deli meat, lettuce, etc. totally about $8). We get snacks, such as crackers ($2) granola bars ($2) and some fruit ($5).  All in all we spent about $17 and we have 4 days worth of lunch and snacks!  We’re really easy going so eating the same thing for lunch and breakfast doesn’t bug us. We go out to eat for dinner. We try to keep our meals between $6-8 a plate, and often times we share meals at restaurants! The portion sizes are always so big, and you can’t eat left overs on vacation. Our eating out bill totaled about $60. So for food we spent a total of $75.

In D.C LOTS of the entertainment is free. All the tours we went on were free and we went to lots of museums and monuments, because that’s just what you do in D.C. We did pay for some things though. We went to the Arlington National Cemetery and payed $13 for each of us for their tour (WELL worth it though!), and we rented bikes one day (which was a whopping $4). Entertainment Total: $30

There you have it! Our 4 day trip to D.C for $411. Broken down it was $205.50 a person! You can rarely find flights alone for that price. Traveling doesn’t have to be a super expensive thing. When you budget for it, plan ahead, and are willing to make some sacrifices (such as packing in only in a back pack, not staying in a 5-star resort, and eating cereal for breakfast), traveling can be a real possibility! Since traveling is something Matthew and I really enjoy doing together we have a bank account specifically for travel. We put away a certain percentage of our paychecks towards it, and we don’t plan a trip until we have enough money for it. If we don’t have enough money for it, in our minds we haven’t earned it.

Both of us are super interested in finances and traveling (which for us go together!). Hence the super long post! If you made it this far, kudos!!! Thank you for following along! We’re looking for our next adventure. Send us your suggestions, we’d love to know where your favorite place to travel is and how you budgeted for it!

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