Travel Items I Never Leave the House Without!

When I reflect on when I first started traveling, I bust out laughing thinking about how bad of a packer I was! While preparing for my first international trip to study in South Africa, I asked one of my close friends to come over and help me figure out what I really needed. Even after consulting with her, while in South Africa I didn't use half of the things I bought with me! It took some time, but over the years I have refined my packing system. I use 95% of the stuff I bring and the remaining 5% are items I bring for emergencies that thankfully I don't have to use every time. No matter where I travel in the world, here are the travel items I never leave the house without:

Off the Beaten Path: A Relaxing Escape to Newfoundland

Canada has a lot to offer to tourists, and Newfoundland, the island on the east coast of Canada, is no exception. Newfoundland’s tourist economy is still developing, which means it’s a great place to go for a relaxing getaway, free from crowds.

My partner and I went to Newfoundland right after our wedding in August for a 6-day honeymoon. It was the perfect destination for a low-key vacation. We chose it, honestly, because my partner saw an advertisement on an Air Canada flight and thought it looked awesome! He was right.

3 Ways to Maximize a Short Stay in a Resort

When my sister first told me she was having a destination wedding, beyond the initial excitement my mind went directly to how expensive it would be. I am a budget traveler and really like to make the most out of my money and time. When I saw the total price (flight & accommodation) of 3 days in Jamaica in April was close to the equivalent of my 2 week trips to Africa & Europe, my penny-pinching heart cringed. I know there are definitely ways to go to Jamaica for cheaper, but when there is a specific date and venue already chosen it limits your options. So naturally, given the amount of money I was spending, I made plans to do as much as possible during my stay!

Vamos! A Beginner's Guide to Mexico City

Mexico City is a prime vacation destination for foodies, history buffs, and connoisseurs of interesting cultures and traditions! I know Mexico City has gotten a bad reputation, but have no fear-- with a little bit of research and this guide, you will see that Mexico City has SO much to offer. In reality, Mexico City hasn’t been as dangerous as most people think since 2009. I was definitely a little bit nervous about traveling there with the rumors I had heard, but I wasn’t nervous or uncomfortable while I was there AT ALL. Like with any big city, you have to use your street smarts and avoid going to any sketchy parts of the city alone at night. As we learned on one of our tours, most of the places you will visit are really well policed and far away from the places you don’t want to be. 

4 Must-Have Essential Oils For Your First-Aid Kit

During your travels have you ever experienced any of the following: jet lag, nausea, itchy mosquito bites, muscle aches and pain, headache, respiratory infections/common cold, or the bubble guts aka. the preclude to diarrhea? If you haven't, please tell me your secrets! However, I'm confident that most of us have experienced these health issues while traveling. While we can grab over-the-counter medicine, Mother Nature provides us with natural remedies that give immediate relief to the above health issues and many more.

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling the World (Part I)

As much as I LOVE traveling, it can take a toll on your body. Jet lag, exposure to sick people (i.e. bacteria circulating through the plane's A/C), environmental toxins, even breaking out of your normal routine - all can mess with your health and ruin your precious vacation. Unfortunately, I have been sick while abroad more times that I would like, from recurring flu-like symptoms when I was studying in South Africa to stomach viruses in Thailand, and a few things in between. Fortunately, from being sick so many times, I've learned essential strategies to help you stay healthy during your travels (things that I've gotten better at over the years). I'll go over these strategies in a 3-part series in the upcoming weeks.

3 Important Things to Do Before You Book Your Accommodation

Four years ago, I went on my first trip to Europe where I visited Rome, Paris & Barcelona! I was traveling with my friend who couldn't be convinced to stay in hostels, so we decided to stay in hotels. We selected our hotels based solely on cheap prices, which worked out ok in our Paris & Barcelona hotels. However, our daily 40 minute bus ride commute from our hotel in Rome to key attractions was not something I was expecting! 

Reflecting on my Rome trip, I realized that time is just as valuable as money! It's all about finding the balance of having an affordable stay that maximizes your vacation time. If you want to achieve this vacation sweet spot, here are 3 key things you need to do before you book your accommodation:

Your 4-Day Peru Travel Guide

Last fall, my best friend and I were mulling over where to visit for the winter holidays. We’re both big on travel and hadn’t taken an international trip in ages but deciding where to go was really tricky. Europe? Nah, too cold. Caribbean? Zika…yeah. South East Asia? Way too far for our short trip. And then it hit us: Peru! It’s summer time there and, surprisingly, it isn’t in the thick of their tourist season. Looking back, I’m so happy we went – it was the perfect mix of activity, culture, and leisure. I still remember our train ride through the Andes mountains to Machu Picchu and I seriously miss the amazing food (one word: ceviche!). 

7 Must-See Places in Colombia That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Colombia is the most biodiverse country on earth. From flourishing cities to lavish landscapes, the country offers a taste of everything for the multifarious traveler.  

You’d be remiss not to experience everything the country has to offer. Yet, the average traveler knows little about the bountiful secrets that Colombia has in store. If you want to experience Colombia fully, you’ll want to add these 7 places into your itinerary.

Liebster Award 2017

The Liebster Award is an online-only award that bloggers use to applaud their favorite new bloggers. I've been on this blogging journey for 8 months and really pour my heart into my blog, so it was nice to be recognized by the blogging community through a Liebster nomination.

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Around in Accra

Figuring your way around a new city can be super fun and exciting, but also a bit stressful. What helps me alleviate my stress when using public transportation abroad is knowing the do’s and don’ts of the local system. After a year+ of living in Ghana, I’ve mastered a few tricks that I am excited to share with you!  

Here are 4 essential tips you need to know to get around Accra with ease:

15 Holiday Gift Ideas for Travel Lovers

The holiday season is officially here and it's time to start working on your shopping list. While gift giving is awesome, it can also be quite stressful for some. To help you out, I've created a list of 15 useful and thoughtful gift ideas for yourself and other travel lovers in your life. All of these items are items I own and love or are high on my holiday wish list this year!

Free Travel Insurance You May Not Know You Have

I've had my fair share of travel disasters, which caused me to pay more attention to travel insurance. A few years ago I got a VentureOne credit card from Capital One so I could rack up points with my big flight purchases. I chose this card mainly because it had no annual fee, a reasonable APR, no foreign transaction fees, and a great purchase point system. However, a recent review of my credit card benefits reminded me that I also have decent built-in insurance as a cardholder.

While not all credits cards offer these services, here are 4 travel-related coverage options you may already have in your wallet: