What is Lifestyle Recommendations?
This is the area of my website where I review products and services to recommend to you that may help you simplify or better your life in some way. (No guarantees, just suggestions)
DISCLOSURE: This means that when you click on a link described herein, I may earn a commission should you chose to sign up for a program or make a purchase using my link. These are called affiliate links and this is part of how I hustle as a travel blogger to add to my income. I wanted to disclose this to you and make sure you understand how it works. There is no fee to you just my review to help you decide on things you might need to make your travels more comfortable.
I love to hear comments and feedback too on whether you found a product or service helpful! Give me a shout out below in the comments section.
What is Amazon Prime day and what's in it for you?
Amazon has a membership program that gives the user special discounts on products and services year round. The annual membership fee is $119 for 1 year or $12.99 month. If you choose the monthly payment of $12.99 it will end up costing you $155.88 for the year so the better price is the $119 up front.
You can get a 30-day free trial when signing up using this link.
There are many benefits to using Amazon Prime membership. Here is a list of what you'll get:
Yoga is a Way to Keep Yourself Healthy When Traveling
There are some things you can do before and after a flight to de-stress.
B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Slowly. Feel yourself resetting internally
Doing this after the hectic beat of travel, whether by plane, train, or auto will help you align your body’s response to the stress. Breathing techniques are something you can learn with Yoga poses to calm and restore yourself. Yoga is also excellent for gentle stretching exercises to uncramp your body from the sometimes tightened up feeling we get when we are stuffed into a silver cylinder hurling at 600mph.
Of course it is not practical nor really possible to do Yoga poses on a plane, train or auto, but getting your mindset into a slow breathing mode during travel is. There is an easy way to learn it too.
How to do Yoga While Traveling through easy-to-use Video Instruction
YogaVibes is a company that has an extensive library of Yoga Videos you can do while on the road traveling. In particular, there is one video designed for the traveler but in order to view it fully you have to subscribe. So I've included a link below for you to get a discount subscription. Click on the link below to find out more.
Pull these videos up on your phone, tablet, or laptop and you’re good to go into relax mode. That is a great way to start an end a travel trip. It keeps you focused, healthy, aware and physically stronger.
Portable Pilates Exercise
Another way to get into stretching mode comfortably is through Pilates. Usually this requires going to a studio that has Pilates machines and classes with a knowledgeable instructor. There wasn’t really a way to make Pilates portable until now with the Pilates Wheel.
PilatesWheel.com makes two versions; the basic Pilates Wheel COR (center of room) and the Pilates Wheel DLX. Both of these lightweight devices comes with the following attachments;
The extras that come with the DLX package are
Pilates is very complimentary exercise to Yoga in that both are designed to focus on slow movements to stretch certain parts of the body at one time. Transitioning from one movement or pose to another creates a rhythmic flow. The great thing about this type of exercising is that it is useful to both beginners and advanced users. You don’t have to be a pumped-up athlete to enjoy the benefits.
Doing Pilates as a pre-travel exercise routine is another method to help keep yourself fit when on the go. However a caveat is that even though the Pilates Wheel is portable, it would take up too much room in your luggage and be rather impractical to bring along on a trip. Unless of course you are going somewhere for several months, then it would be something to consider bringing along. Especially if you are already deriving the benefits from using the system at home.
Lightweight, stretchable Yoga Clothing for Men and Women
As mentioned in another article about what to pack in your carry-on when traveling, it was suggested to bring non-bulky clothing.
Prana has some excellent choices in Yoga Exercise Wear, which can also double as pajamas or loungewear. I would be cautious about wearing Yoga leggings on flights as some airlines can restrict you based on attire. Bringing them as a back-up to change into once in the air, is usually acceptable.
Travel to Yoga Retreats
For absolute Yoga aficionados there is also a company that specializes in Yoga Travel Trips. Destinations include Baja, Bali, Bhutan, France, Galapagos, Iceland, Kenya, Mayan Riviera, Panama, Patagonia, Peru, Vietnam and Cambodia. Check out The TravelYogi
Is it risky to check luggage in?
The chances of an airline losing your checked-in luggage have increased for 2018.
Here is a 55-page document put out by the Government called the Air Travel Consumer Report. Scan to page 32 to see the statistics on consumer lost luggage by 13 domestic U.S. carriers comparing March 2017 to March 2018. It looks like lost, delayed, or damaged luggage was up a bit from the previous year.
Do you want your luggage to become a statistic?
Certainly not! I would think. No one wants to arrive somewhere without clothes, toiletries and other things needed on a daily basis. I’ve actually had that happen a few times in my life, most recently when I went to London in December 2017 for a 4-day trip. My luggage (a 22” spinner) didn’t get to me until the 3rd day when I was getting ready to leave. I had to go to the nearest Gap Store to buy some Pajamas, a sweater and a pair of jeans. They didn’t have everything I needed and since I didn’t know when/if my luggage was going to get to me, I stopped in at a TK Maxx (The UK version of TJ Maxx) to buy a few more inexpensive apparel items. The hotel was nice enough to give me a toothbrush kit and I used hotel shampoo & body wash. The reason I checked a 22” spinner is because the gate agents said the flight was fully booked which meant the overhead cabins were filling up fast with personal items and no more room was available for carry-ons.
That is always the risk we take when flying. You could carefully bring your appropriate sized carry-on and bypass the front desk check-in but when you get to the gate if more passengers have shown up for the flight, they could all be asked to voluntarily check their carry-on. As what happened with me.
What Defines a Personal Item?
So the second thing I recommend is to bring a personal item, such as a purse, backpack, or large tote, or something that fits under the seat appropriately-sized that contains your toothbrush, toothpaste, a change of underwear, some PJ’s that roll-up small, or an extra t-shirt, a pair of socks, and if it will fit a pair of pants preferably not bulky like jeans, but just in case. This way if your carry-on does get checked and lost along the way you will have this immediate back-up of clothing and small item toiletries.
I personally use the Travelon underseat tote because it has an outside pocket I can put a water bottle in, it’s easy to maneuver even with 1 hand sometimes, and it has the right amount of space for the basic necessities I need for at least 1 night. It fits perfectly under a coach economy seat too.
The problem sometimes, is that people get carried away with the amount of “personal item” carry-ons. I’ve seen people hauling 3 large size shopping bags (those rectangular ones) like as if they just went shopping in duty free and bought a bunch of stuff. This is in addition to the backpack and carry-on. Invariably the gate agents ask people to condense their items into their backpack/tote/carry-on so as to save space equally for all passengers. You don’t want to be one of those persons that gets dirty-looks from others standing in line waiting for you to condense your things together. It’s a hassle, it’s embarrassing, it’s a time-waster. So please think ahead the next time you stop to buy things last minute how much it will affect you in your effort to get to your airplane seat.
Condense and Condense Again
Also, keep in mind that even if you don’t make last-minute extra purchases, to still condense what you can into as little as 2 carry-ons as previously mentioned. Eliminate the unnecessary things like shopping bags even if they are pretty and unique and you want to bring it home to give as a gift to someone. Fold it up neatly and stash it in the flat outside pocket of your carry-on if possible. If you have a hard side carry-on, then you’ll have to open it up right there in the terminal. Not fun at all.
Ebags has this great set of a Professional looking slim back pack that goes with their wheeled 21” Mother Lode Carry-On. I got my husband this set in gray and it looks really nice, and has been durable through dozens of trips.
I remember once I was trying to get on a flight from (HNL) Honolulu to (OGG) Maui. The flights were delayed, oversold, and very crowded making it difficult for my stand-by status. This caused the gate agents to over scrutinize the size of luggage that people were trying to bring on the flights. My soft-sided luggage had an outside pocket that apparently looked like it was sticking out too much to the gate agent. I had only a pair of flip-flops smashed flat in that pocket. The gate agent wasn’t buying it, so she put my bag in the bag sizer and it was about ¼’ inch too much. She said if I wanted to get on the flight I’d have to remove the flip-flops. (Or throw them away) I would have had to open the already fully packed suitcase and smash everything down to add the flip flops. Fortunately my husband had the right amount of room in his backpack for my flip flops.
I came over with THIS MUCH and I’m leaving with THE SAME AMOUNT why didn’t my stuff fit correctly?
This is another issue when packing. Why did my things fit differently on the return?
A number of reasons for this; you were in a hurry so you just sort of mindlessly crammed everything back into your suitcase at the hotel and it fit and no worries or so you thought.
Your bulky pair of jeans weren’t rolled up properly or folded in such a way as to not minimize space. You put your extra pair of shoes in the suitcase in a different position than when you originally packed.
It makes sense at this point to create a specific routine for knowing what to pack and
HOW TO PACK these items every time you fly. Get into the right way to do it and save yourself a ton of time and/or hassle. And if you really hate packing, hand the chore over to someone who doesn’t mind it that you are flying with. But if you are flying solo, this is something you must learn to do correctly on your own.
Become the efficient suitcase packer by
I love to eat fresh food. I hope you do too. Especially with all the health advice out there that admonishes us to be eating healthy FRESH FOOD to stay healthy, live longer, be disease free, be at your ideal weight, etc. How can you not ignore all the good things we hear daily reminding us to eat fresh food?
We buy fresh fruit and vegetables in the market knowing that we must eat it soon while it is still fresh.
We buy meat and eggs and dairy products knowing that we must eat it before the expiration date stamped on the packaging.
We even buy a lot of “bad” food that has expiration dates stamped on the packaging.
We have so much food (aren’t we grateful) to eat in a limited amount of time what can be wrong?
Well, first off Fresh Food must be eaten within a few days, sometimes within the same day you buy it, because otherwise it will spoil or go stale or just lose all the good freshness to it. So, we end up having to eat more of it in a short amount of time, right?
What’s that you say? You put your fresh food in plastic baggies? You re-wrap it in its original container? You say it stays fresh for you that way. No problems of mold showing up a day later. No rancid smell or bad taste. All which could be signs of the freshness being gone. Signs which indicated unhealthiness. Unhealthy food staring you in the face making you feel bad because you want that fresh food taste you ate yesterday and now today, its gone because the food went bad. Sigh.
What can you do about this worldwide epidemic? (Ok, its not as dramatic as that but if you think about it, it is one of those daily things we have to deal with as a human being on the planet. Fresh food vs. stale food – to eat or not to eat that is the question)
Don’t tell me there are people eating non-fresh food. I know there are, I know I sometimes do too. And sometimes that is all a person can eat because that is all that is available to them. I am grateful for the fresh food I can get daily.
But the worst thing about eating all this fresh food is that you must eat it quickly or in a relatively short amount of time before it goes bad.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t eat that much. I like to be able to make my fresh food last for more than a few days. I want to have my non-wrinkled blueberries in my morning breakfast as fresh as if they were first picked and quickly put into a container and sent to market where I get them the next day. (Well that’s one day lost and each day they sit in the market adds up to a shorter shelf life)
How can we solve this problem we have with fresh food not lasting so long?
Here comes the sell. I found two companies that help solve that problem. Rubbermaid and Fit & Fresh.
Rubbermaid has a line called Freshworks produce saver. You can see it here or in the ad below.
Fit & Fresh has a variety of containers from meal prep to travel bags. (See how this relates to travel information?) You can keep your fresh food fresher longer at home or on-the-go. Here is a deal for you -- click on the link below
Summer has started; which means it's time for a fun-filled vacation! If you're wondering what that means for your fur-baby, I have the perfect solution to keep your family together... Extended Stay America! If you haven't heard, Extended Stay America isn't just a superior choice in lodging for the family, but they're also one of the biggest pet-friendly hotels with over 600 hotels across the U.S. Your pet is more than just a cute and cuddly companion and Extended Stay America understands this.
Their pet policy is just one of their budget-friendly amenities that will have you booking pronto. Each suite has a fully equipped kitchen to save money on eating out; also a way to stay close to Fido or Mittens, as well as FREE Wi-Fi and free grab-and-go breakfast. All this on top of the boarding fees you'll save!
Extended Stay America really does want you to be close to your beloved pets and they're showing their animal love by starring in a movie. That's right! Extended Stay America is going Hollywood and teamed up with Air Bud Entertainment to have their hotel room appear in the new movie "Pup Star: World Tour". Released on Netflix last month (May 5th), this family-friendly film is loaded with music, adventure, and plenty of comedy.
As part of this partnership, Extended Stay America launched a Pup Star Pawsome Pup Pet Photo Contest to get your four-legged friend in on the action. The grand prize is a walk-on role in a future Air Bud Entertainment film and 25 first prize winners will get a two-night stay with their pet at an Extended Stay America hotel of their choice. This contest ends July 19, 2018, so learn more here and get snapping!
here you have it - the best solution for your summer vacation for the WHOLE family. Go online and book early to save up to 10%. You can check out their most popular vacation spots here or search by the map instead.
Check Out the Pup Star: World Tour Trailer >
Let me help you find a gift for that always-on-the-go travel person in your life.
Gifts for the intrepid travel junkie or gifts for a friend, coworker or relative who wants to travel.
For their last birthday did you get them a special travel-theme related gift?
You may have not thought to get something travel related for that person, but I have a curated selection ready to go for you.
Take a look at these Amazon products and see if one might be the right gift. (Or use the search bar below the ad to find more items)
Here is a unique travel gift: A Priority Pass that gives a person access to 1200 airport lounges around the world!
But if you are on a budget and want to give something practical as a gift, socks are always a good thing! Especially socks as comfortable as Bombas! I know because I own several pairs. They are soft & cushiony and hold up well wash after wash.
Here is a link to another travel blogger's ideas for travel gifts.
St. Ives Cleansing Sticks
Fresh, clean and healthy. We all need that in our lives especially for travelling. We want ease of items when we pack. We want to be able to not worry about the little things. The little things that can suddenly make your travel adventure either a little bit problematic or a little bit easy. Let’s pick easy.
I want to share with you a new product by St. Ives that is a game-changer for travelers. It's easy to use, easy to buy, healthy and good for you and is priced very economically.
First off, everybody knows there are limits to what you can carry on board when it comes to toiletries and cosmetics. 3 oz. or less is the rule. These liquid items must fit in 1-quart size plastic baggie.
So how to get around that when you have either 1.) More liquid items to carry or 2.) Larger than 3 oz. items?
You can put extra or larger liquid items into your checked luggage. Ok, we know that.
What is the work around? This game-changer I mentioned?
Substitute solids for liquids where you can. Specifically, for face wash.
St. Ives now puts out a solid condensed stick weighing 1.59 oz. It swivels up to reveal a little at a time. It lathers up great to remove all the dirt, makeup, and grime. Even better is that this product is made with 100% coconut oil combined with other natural ingredients like honey, green tea, or cactus water. Three different formulas for different skin concerns such as dry, oily, or normal.
They smell great too! Refreshing to use after a workout or a long flight. Everyone could always use a little pick-me-up aromatherapy. My favorite is the Cactus Water & Hibiscus. Not too heavy of a scent either.
Now when you travel by plane you sometimes might worry about what happens to liquid items when you land. The up and down pressurization in the plane can lead to leakage if a liquid item’s cap wasn’t tightened enough before you left. What a mess to find when you check into your hotel and start to unpack, discovering a baggy mess of glop! Not to mention the waste and then you have to buy something else to replace the lost liquid or use the standard hotel hand soap which just might be too harsh for your facial skin.
Enter St. Ives solid cleansing stick and you won’t have that problem again – at least when it comes to your liquid facial cleanser. Pack it with your solid deodorant and you’re good to go!
Find your favorite at Wal-Mart starting at $7.52. Click on the image below to buy.
Julep is #bravepretty
I’m always on the lookout for travel-size cosmetics and toiletries to take with me in my travels.
So, when I get excited about something new I find, I want to share it with you in the hopes you can see its value too!
I’m going to focus this article specifically on Julep cosmetics which is pretty amazing.
It's a totally customizable beauty subscription that sends you a box of full-size beauty products every month. It’s not just nail polish either, although they have some of the coolest, prettiest nail polish around in a wonderful small rectangular shape that works size-wise for travel.
Here’s a photo of some of the nail polish I got in last month’s Beauty Box that I posted on my Instagram account.
You have a choice of two subscription options. My Maven gives you $40 worth of products for $24.99 month or $19.99 for the first 3 months if you prepay it in advance. Your Beauty Box is customizable each month. You get an email notice by the 20th, get 4 days to change it out, or decline it, and then by the 27th the Beauty Box edit closes and its shipped out to you.
The other choice you have is the Maven Luxe which gives you $60 worth of products for $39.99 month or $34.99 if you prepay it in advance.
Either way you get a lot of usable goodies at a discounted price.
Plus, when you go to edit your box you get additional items to choose from all on special deals.
There is also a point-earning awards system called Jules which ends up saving you more money by getting free products! Woo hoo!
Take a look at Julep’s Beauty Value Sets as well
1Above - Prevent Jetlag #ArriveReady
I purchased a bottle and then closely read the ingredients on the label. Lots of good stuff including B Vitamins and my favorite, Apple Cider Vinegar. Now that’s unique! The actual ingredient list of the 1Above® Travel Recovery Drink contains: Water, Fructose, Apple Juice Concentrate, Potassium Phosphate, Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol®), Grape Seed Extract, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Lactate, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Sulphate, Natural Flavours, Citric Acid, Apple Cider Vinegar, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, Potassium Sorbate.
I drank about half the bottle as we started to board the plane. I ended up drinking the rest of it after I buckled-in. My flight was going to be 3 hours heading to Sydney, Australia. Not really fair to test the drink out on a such a short flight but I was already a bit Jetlagged having arrived in Auckland 3 days earlier and went on a car trip to Hobbiton.
I felt fine the next 7 days in Sydney with no adverse affects from the 1Above drink.
The next time I tested out 1Above was going to Canada on a long flight. I had purchased the tablets on Amazon which are more convenient to carry around as you can pop a tablet in your water bottle after you clear security. It should be noted that the ingredients for the tablets are slightly different in that they don’t contain the Apple Cider Vinegar. 1Above® Effervescent Tablets contain: Sorbitol, Citric Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Natural Flavours, Malic Acid, Calcium, Sodium, Polyphenol (Pycnogenol® / Grape Seed Extract), Magnesium, Wheat Germ Oil, Stevia, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12. Contain Wheat.
The tablet was taking awhile to fully dissolve so I shook the bottle up a bit. Then drank it down. The taste is not too bad, a little bit lemony, but nothing that will make you pucker up. The B Vitamins gave me a boost I think. I know what I feel like before and after a B12 boost and can definitely say it keeps you alert – not like caffeine alert – but more like awake and not jittery.
As for how it helped me avoid Jetlag, I think it did its job. If I’m going to come down sick with something like a cold after a flight, I usually notice symptoms within the first 24-48 hours upon arrival in a new city.
No sickness, no hints of sniffles even. Just felt normal, good, and happy to be where I was going.
For me, 1Above is a thumbs-up. Get yours here 1Above
Save yourself a lot of trouble by following these tips before you travel. I have done every single one and offer up my experienced advice to help you have a smoother travel experience on your own journeys. Some of these tips you may know and some you may not. I shared these to get you started. Let me know which ones work for you and which ones don’t.