Travel Essentials Under $50

Last year I barely traveled at all and suffered a serious case of wanderlust. This year, things have changed already: I'm traveling almost every single month until June, and I'm pretty excited about it. As any frequent traveler knows, its good to have your essentials gathered together so that when its time to pack, you're not running around frantically trying to get things together. I leave mine in carry-on, so I always have them handy for long or short trips. So what makes up these "essentials?" I've come up with a few based on my domestic as well as international adventures over the past several years, and best of all, these are ALL under $50. 


Top row: Underwear Pouch (to keep your foundation garments protected because good bras cost $50+); fun passport caseuniversal travel adapter (for international travel); lip balm + tint to hydrate in dry airplanes. 

Middle row: Bright scarf (to brighten up your outfits, keep you warm on airplanes, and keep you decent if you are visiting a religious monument); monogrammed luggage tags (to help you identify your black bag from everyone else's black bag); mini first-aid kit (just to be safe).

Bottom row: Cozy slippers (for long flights and to rest your feet after a long day of walking); skin care (these are my FAVORITES; three different makeup artists have commented on my skin since I started using them); kindle fire for your beach reads! 

Do you have any favorites that I'm missing?


Hello again

Hi again!! It's been a while since I last posted anything- blame it on lots of work-related travel and some vacation!! This past week, N and I enjoyed some R&R in Costa Rica!!! We stayed at the Westin, an all-inclusive in the Guanacaste region. The rooms were very nice and comfortable, but I would say that if I had to do it over, I would only go the all-inclusive route for part of the vacation, not the whole 7 days. Costa Rica is known for its eco-tours and adventure offerings, and staying at an all-inclusive for the whole time is just sorta a waste when you end up leaving on tours that last the whole day!

Here are some pics from vacation. You will notice that it looks very cloudy in the pictures- we knew we were going in the "wet" season, but I was expecting the usual hour or two of rain. However, thanks to a hurricane that ran through Mexico, we had LOTS of rain everyday. From what I hear, a lot like Cleveland last week! However, it was nice and warm, so N and I spent time hanging out in the hot tub and at the swim up bar.

The waves were pretty rough thanks to the hurricane

The resort critters. Both the birds and the little mongoose/raccoon-type animals (Caoti) would come right up to you for food. There was a huge pack of about 20-25 of them around the pool, although only 1-2 of them were social. The little babies were really cute!

Beautiful tropical flowers

N and I took a day-long tour that included the Arenal volcano (you can't go up to the mouth of the crater- poisonous gases etc), a boat ride, a walk through the rainforest, time at the hot springs, and a delicious dinner at a restaurant overlooking the volcano.

 The Rainforest. Honestly, I was more afraid of the rainforest than the zipline tours!! I'm allergic to everything, and I was so nervous that I would get bitten by some crazy tropical insect and swell up!!! It was beautiful though, and I made it out unbitten, which made it even better!!

 N and I also did an ATV tour (I rode my own ATV- yay!!), and a zip line tour which was a MAJOR adrenaline rush!! Essentially, you fly through the rainforest harnessed to cables, and a lot of times you couldn't even see the other end. In case you're wondering, I didn't look down once, but I did keep my eyes open as I was flying across the cables! 

Overall it was a really nice vacation- some touristy stuff, and a LOT of relaxation!!!