Observing African-American History Month

We have come, somehow, to the end of February, and with it, the end of African-American History Month.

When he officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, President Gerald Ford declared the need to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

The “father of black history”, author, journalist, and historian Carter G. Woodson, fought for a national recognition of black stories and perspectives. Woodson believed deeply that equality was only possible by way of acknowledgement and understanding of a race’s history. He dedicated his life to the study of African-American historical research.  

I’ve tried to take some time this month to learn more about African-American achievers I’ve been inspired by.  Far from a writer, I would likely do them injustice trying to sum up their lives and accomplishments.  So I’ll leave it to the pros whose stories fascinated me, linked within.

We seem to have made great strides in terms of equality, evidenced by recalling the history of the treatment and segregation of African-Americans in our nation.  But for this history, you wouldn’t think any progress has been made.  There is much work still to be done.

Thank you for taking the time to enjoy these heroes with me.

Discover Your Travel Profile for the Perfect Getaway

Photo by Olivier Brugger on Unsplash

There are, of course, thousands of possible vacation options out there. There are plenty of great trips to choose from — and then there are trips that are great for you. Being honest about what you want and need and getting to know your own personal travel profile can save you from the but-it-looked-great-on-paper trip disappointment.

Here are a few simple considerations that can help you better understand your unique and personal travel profile:

Make a quick list of the twenty most fun memories you have of trips you’ve taken in your lifetime. Notice if there are any themes. While you don’t necessarily need (or even want) each vacation to be a carbon copy of things you’ve already done, you can use those larger themes to guide your planning of future trips. That way, if you decide to step out a little from your comfort zone, you’ll at least have a solid idea of what makes the most meaningful moments for you. Is it time with friends or family? A certain type of weather or geography? Certain activities? Quiet time? When you can build some of these elements into your travel, you’re more likely to come home energized and restored.

What do you like to do to relax, unwind, have fun, or re-energize when you’re not on vacation? Do you like to be still or active? Quiet or surrounded by crowds? Scheduled or free-form and spontaneous? Simplicity or luxury? Inside or outside? These might seem like silly questions — but you’d be surprised how often people book vacations that are filled with activities or set at a pace that they otherwise don’t really enjoy. It’s possible that you’ll love a week of biking in Tuscany even though you’d never go cycling at home — but more likely you’ll be tired, saddle-sore, and wishing for a car. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try new activities every now and then; there’s plenty of room for new adventures on trips. Just make sure that you incorporate new activities in small bites — say, an afternoon bike tour with plenty of stops — to see if it’s something you’d genuinely like more of. 

What is the purpose of your trip? What do you want to take away? Part of what makes travel so amazing is its capacity to broaden and deepen our cultural, relational, and emotional horizons. Are you looking to create tons of new memories with your kids? Are you hunting for the perfect gift(s)? Maybe you’d like to immerse yourself in a new culture and language, or do a service-oriented trip that allows you to give to others while you’re getting an invaluable adventure. Plan your trip around the kind of experience and emotional takeaway you’re looking for.

Photo by Vaida Tamošauskaitė on Unsplash

Do you prefer to be in control, or are you happier when someone else is at the helm? This can be a huge factor in overall enjoyment of a trip. Sometimes people think they’d love to be in charge of everything — but when faced with the reality of hundreds of details that need taking care of before, during, and even after a trip, the fun gets sapped right out of the vacation. When you work with me, you can create the best balance of autonomy and assistance in order to maximize the fun, adventure, and relaxation on your trip.

When you take a little time to get to know how you travel best, your vacation can be more than just fun; it can actually be fulfilling. And you can come home refreshed, energized, and brimming with great new memories.

Are you ready to start planning an incredible experience for yourself, you and your partner, or your whole family? Contact me today and let me help you get there! Just click here.

Scientists may have found the “wanderlust gene.” Do you have it?

You know them when you meet them: those people who always keep their passport on hand, who can pack for an international trip in about twenty minutes flat, who’ve almost never met a travel idea they didn’t like, who would rather take three international trips a year than own a car. They never get tired of exploring.

Scientists might have discovered why some people tend towards wanderlust and others don’t.

One gene in particular, simply known as DRD4, is associated with dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is one of the brain’s natural “feel good” reward chemicals. For example, it’s released when we eat a delicious piece of chocolate cake or when we win at a race after training for months.

A derivative of DRD4, called DRD4-7R, is what’s come to be known as the “wanderlust gene.” In people who have it — only about 20 percent of the population — it shows up with an increased curiosity, restlessness, and desire to explore. And the one thing that almost all people who have DRD4-7R share in common? A history of traveling.

While nailing down the urge to explore and travel to only one piece of DNA might seem a bit simplistic, part of this unique gene mutation might be linked to the fact that the human brain and body are uniquely suited for exploration: unlike other primates, we have legs and hips that are designed to walk long distances; we have hands that can perform incredibly detailed tasks; and our brains are large and are naturally wired for creativity and change. Another source of the 7R gene might be those people groups in human history that experienced mass migration over long distances — they cultivated and passed on a relentless curiosity about new territory because that was what they were doing for generations.

Dr Richard Paul Ebstein, Professor of Psychology at the National University of Singapore, explored the question of the “travel gene” more in depth in this recent article. Regardless of its origin, Ebstein notes that people who possess the 7R mutation are people who exhibit “novelty seeking or extroverted behavior”.

Sound like anyone you know?

If you’re longing for your next great adventure, let’s talk travel! You can get in contact with me today by clicking here.

Spiritual Vacations

Four types of spiritual vacations — which one is right for you?

Researchers speculate that the surge in spiritual tourism involves several factors, ranging from our skewed work-life balance to the current global popularity of Pope Francis. Bestselling books like Eat, Pray, Love and Wild can make spiritual tourism seem like a relatively new phenomenon, but as author Lori Erickson points out, “People have been making treks to holy sites for millennia — in fact, these types of locations are probably the oldest form of tourism.”

The stereotype of the seeker-traveler is the unencumbered college student who’s trying to “find himself.” But people of all ages and all walks of life seek meaningful experiences for many reasons: a longing to reconnect to the Big Questions in life, as a response to dramatic life changes (grief, loss, milestone celebrations, overcoming adversity), or simply out of genuine curiosity and devotion. Whatever the varied motivations, over 300 million people will visit the major religious sites each year (this year being an exception), and a quarter of all Americans say they’d like to plan a faith-centered trip. Even if you don’t consider yourself a religious person, there are many ways to approach this type of travel, depending on what you’re interested in. Here are four ways to consider planning your spirit-nourishing trip.

1. Person-centered journeys. While this type of trip might be more common for people who practice a specific religion, it can also be centered around people you’ve deeply admired, are curious about, or who’ve had a profound impact on your life. It’s a wonderful way to connect with the history and cultural context of people in religious history, and to connect with the real stories of spiritual figures.  Examples: Visiting places of significance to Jesus, the Buddha, Rumi, Mother Theresa, or St. Francis. Or picking a theme, like your favorite women in religious history, or the hometowns of your favorite saints. Where: The Holy Land, Montenegro, India, Turkey, Italy and more.

2. Location-centered journeys. There are certain places that in and of themselves are thought to be spiritual. This can be connected to their histories — specific events such as Oberammergau’s nearly four-centuries-old Passion Play, certain people or groups of people that lived there — but it also can be the surrounding landscape or the breathtaking architecture in that location. Sometimes places are considered spiritually “charged” because of the presence of certain magnetic or energetic fields in the area (this is common in deserts). Examples: a holy temple, synagogue, mosque, or chapel; energetic vortexes in deserts; mountaintop monasteries. Where: Rishikesh, India; Sedona, AZ; Angkor Wat, Cambodia; Mt. Shasta, CA; The Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey; Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (Ayers Rock), Australia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

3. Activity-centered journeys. Maybe you’ve been practicing yoga for several years and want to learn more in an intensive course. Maybe you’re looking to deepen your meditative practice. Maybe you’re searching for ways to give back, to have your travel also be an act of service to others. There are many places that offer a wide variety of ways to nourish your spirit by engaging in activities that are meaningful to you and to others. You can even be a monk for a month — a cultural and spiritual immersion program in Nepal, Cambodia, or India — if that’s something you’re interested in trying. Examples: Yoga intensives; silent retreats; voluntourism with a reputable organization; writing, art, or music retreats. Where: yoga centers around the globe; Taize in Burgundy, France; Nepal; Thailand; Cambodia; South Korea; India; meditation centers in the US and globally; anywhere where trusted organizations operate and organize volunteer opportunities.

4. The-journey-is-the-destination journeys. The poet Gary Snyder said, “Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and soul primary to humankind.” Perhaps there’s no better evidence for this than the ancient tradition of taking a walking pilgrimage. Sometimes silent and often lasting for days or even weeks, these journeys provide the unique opportunity to still the mind and spirit, to be in nature, to take a much-needed break from screen time, to challenge the body, and to experience the warm hospitality of strangers along the way. For the devout and non-religious alike, pilgrimages often prove to be powerfully transformative undertakings. Where: El Camino de Santiago, Spain; Char Dham, India; Kumano Ancient Trail, Japan; Machu Pichu, Peru.

Given the frenetic and frantic pace of modern life — and how easy it is to feel disconnected from the things that matter most to us — a vacation that is truly a retreat might be the exact thing you need right now. If you’re feeling the urge to reconnect with a part of yourself that’s essential and meaningful, but that sometimes gets lost in the busyness of daily living, I’d love to help design your spirit-centered journey. Contact me today!

xo, Jenny

A Proven Way to More Happiness

We know that travel comes with a host of great benefits: you get to spend time with people you love; you get to see new things and try new things; you get to relax away from the pressures of work and everyday life; you get the thrill of realizing dreams you may have had for years and years.

As it turns out, travel is the best way to spend your money. Of all the things you can buy, the experience of traveling gives you, by far, the most bang for your buck. All these great elements of travel have been proven to make people happier.

And even more than that, every part of the travel experience — before, during, and after — is more satisfying, more enjoyable, and has longer-lasting positive effects than buying stuff.

In 2003, Thomas Gilovich published his landmark study called “To Do or To Have? That Is the Question” – a study that, more than a decade on, continues to influence social psychology and the study of what brings us true contentment. Gilovich looked at how economic choices affect well-being and analyzed the differences between experiential and material purchases on human happiness. His unexpected discovery has changed the way we look at our buying habits: Across the board, doing things makes people way happier than having things.

The reason for this is that we get to live and re-live the joy of experiences. Buying an expensive TV or even a new car gives a momentary spike in good feelings that lasts for a few days. But when you take an amazing trip, you get the memories and the good time together — and every time you think of that trip, or you see something that reminds you of it, or you look at the picture on your desktop, your brain registers those joyful times and releases mood-enhancing chemicals that make you feel like you’re re-living the happiness of the experience itself. It stays with you, and you get to access it whenever you want.

It’s not like we need another reason to start planning that dream trip — but another study out that Gilovich co-authored has found that even the anticipation of experiences outdoes the lead-up to material purchases. People waiting in line to get tickets to an event are happier and more excited than those who are waiting in line to buy something.

So, even something as boring as waiting in line is more fun when it’s connected to your travel experience. But it makes sense when you think of it, doesn’t it? You’re waiting to, say, get your passport photo taken, and associated with that time are thoughts of where you’re going to go, what you’re going to see, and all the adventure that awaits. When you’re planning that trip with your advisor, you get to make progress, take steps towards realizing your dream, and each step is actually a part of the adventure itself.

As travelers, we know the many positive benefits of getting out and seeing the world. And now we can feel even better knowing that those benefits continue to improve our lives, long after the trip is over.

Are you convinced? Ready to start taking the steps towards your next travel adventure? I am now planning 2021 and 2022 vacations. Give me a call and let me bring a little more happiness to your life! To contact me click here now! 

15 Tips On How to Save For Your Next Trip

Here are some creative tips on how to save money for your next trip. Use these tips and start ticking off all those destinations on your bucket list.

1. Get rid of your expensive habits

If you can cut 50% of these habits, you will have enough money to do anything you want. Drink less coffee, try cheaper liquor, prepare your own meals, avoid expensive nightclubs and seek alternative ways to have fun.

2. Get an app to track your daily expenses

You can either download a budget app or you can open a Google Sheet to help you to track every dollar you spend and get a handle on where you can save. Examples of the apps you can use include; Trail Wallet, TrabeePocket, and Concur.

3. Use coupons and promo codes when you shop

No, you are not being cheap. You are being smart by stretching your money so that you can have enough to use on the really important stuff. Among the best places to find coupons and promo codes are coupons.com, retailmenot.com, and rakuten.com (formerly Ebates.com).

4. Sign-up for newsletters and apps

We all have our favorite shopping targets. Sign up for their newsletters and apps so you’re always in the know. Most companies notify their subscribers when there are offers to be had and provide a heads up on upcoming promotions and sales. A good trick is to create an email address for all your newsletter subscriptions.

5. Unplug all your devices during your absence

Imagine how much saving you will make on utility bills if all your devices are offline when you are not using the house? Use an extension cord and connect all your devices to it so that with one flip, you can switch off all your appliances.

Warning: leave the alarm on!

6. Change your cell phone plan

You do not need 1200 minutes a month. Try to use internet tools such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Facebook to chat with your friends. They are almost always online anyway. Downgrade your cellphone plan and use a Pay As You Go plan.

7. Cancel your Memberships

Are you going on a long trip? Cancel your gym membership, your country club membership and all those other places that you will not be going while on the trip.

8. Pick up some freelance work

If you are planning to travel on a budget, you can pick up small gigs such as teaching English to supplement your traveling budget.

9. Don’t buy books!

Almost any book worth reading is available online. Unless you have a problem staring at a screen for long, you will save a lot of money just downloading the book into your laptop or smartphone.

10. Sell your old clothes on eBay

Why do you keep making room for clothes that you no longer wear? You are better off selling them and putting this money in a checking account that you can use during your vacation. Even better, why don’t you sell off everything that you can live without?

11. Wait for the movie on Netflix

You do not need to go see the movie in the theater. All you need is to wait a little bit longer for it come out on Netflix.

12. A change jar

Grab an old vase or large beverage container and repurpose it into a change jar.  Every time you come home with small change in your pockets drop it in the jar. You’d be surprised how fast it accumulates.  This will help fund your next vacation and/or give you a little more spending power during your travels.

13. Got a raise? Save it

If you recently got a raise, don’t include it in your budget. Save it for your next trip. The same can be done when you pay off your credit cards! Put that amount in a separate account and watch it grow.

14. Limit your utility bills

You do this by spending a few less minutes in the shower, dry your clothes outside, don’t drain your water heater, turn off your automatic sprinklers during the rainy season, cancelling your cable subscription and use Netflix, eliminate your land line, etc.

15. Offer to babysit

There are hundreds of parents in your neighborhood who would want some free time and are looking for a responsible adult to take care of their kids for a few hours. If you are the kind of person who loves children, you could make a few extra bucks spending time with them.

BONUS!  Volunteer on a cruise ship and travel for free

Cruise ships are always looking for people to do tasks such as cooking, serving, entertaining etc. Research and understand what’s on offer on a cruise ship. You’ll get to visit all the destinations that the cruise ship docks without spending a penny.

Have a creative way to make or save money on your next trip? Don’t hesitate to share with us in the comments. Are you ready to chat about your next trip? Contact Us!

Staying Wise, Staying Calm, And Looking Ahead

For any person who loves to travel, who loves the freedom of being able to go almost anywhere, who sees the world as a beautiful place to be explored — this is likely a time of some discomfort and uncertainty.

It is, of course, good to be wise. It’s smart to listen to experts and make necessary preparations.

Many of us are having to adjust our businesses, our budgets, our schedules — and for many of us, that might include huge changes to vacations, weddings, honeymoons, reunions, and other getaways we’ve been looking forward to for months.

I want to say: I’m sincerely sorry for the upheavals. I’m feeling them, too.

And I also want to say: there is hope, and there is so much great stuff to look forward to.

There will be a time when this uncertainty will be resolved and the fear will lift.

While we’re doing our part to keep ourselves and our communities healthy — practicing social distancing, being conscientious about washing our hands, staying home, not touching our faces — we can also experience the excitement and joy of making future plans.

Four quick things to know about travel in the coming months:

  1. Many airlines are waiving change fees on all tickets booked for future travel.
  2. Amazing destinations are offering refundable packages, special offers, and extra freebies to those who book now. 
  3. This is a smart time to buy inexpensive trip insurance so you have the option to cancel and get your money back if things change before you depart. 
  4. It’s not too early to start dreaming, planning, and booking for 2021 trips!

Right now, it is a season of stillness, of staying close, of appreciating all that we have right in our own homes. It’s in our best interests to accept this temporary shift. We have a unique opportunity to be of service to one another in ways we maybe haven’t imagined before.

And just imagine how incredible it will feel, when the time is right, to stretch our wings, set off across oceans and mountains and miles, and make the whole wide world our home again.

I am sending all my best wishes for health, healing, happiness, and hope for you and your loved ones in the coming weeks and months! If you have any questions about your travel plans, please don’t hesitate to reach out here.

Sincerely,

Jenny

Plan Now, Travel Later

Where are you dreaming of going?

Having to stay home during the pandemic isn’t easy for anyone. Even if you are taking advantage of the slowed pace, or are finding unexpected joy in the quiet — this time can still be a time of restlessness, uncertainty, and anxiety. You probably know someone (maybe yourself!) who had to cancel a destination wedding, a summer vacation, or a trip they’d been anticipating for months or even years. 

If you’re someone who loves to travel, restricted movement can feel especially discouraging. Travel isn’t just about going places. It’s about the entire experience, the anticipation, the joy, about who you are and who you become when you visit someplace new. 

There can be a real sorrow in the letting go, especially amidst so many other changes and unknowns. One thing I’ve heard a lot of people saying is, “I wish I hadn’t put off taking that trip I always wanted to take.

But believe it or not, now is a great time to be planning your post-Corona-celebration trip. 

There are a few reasons that this downtime is the ideal time to give me a call and get started planning your vacation of a lifetime. 

1. The travel restrictions won’t last forever. I know it can feel like it when you’re staring down weeks or months of having your biggest excursions be to the grocery store! But this is an event with an end. Beginning to dream and plan now can be a wonderful way to nurture hope and excitement, and to keep your mind focused on all the good things that will be possible again.

2. There are many deals to be had. All around the world, resorts and venues and restaurants and parks are just as eager to have you return as you are to get out into the world again. They want you to visit, and they are ready to offer incredible deals. As your agent, I have access to discounts and VIP perks that these businesses are waiting to offer.

3. It’s easy to build in travel protections when you book. You don’t have to worry about losing money if something comes up. Many airlines and resorts are offering penalty-free cancellations or adjustments. They know these are unusual times, and they want to be as flexible as possible. Remember: they want your business! Travel protection insurance offers additional peace of mind.

4. Perhaps begin closer to home. We may be a bit hesitant to circle the globe for a while. There are so many amazing destinations near you to enjoy! National Parks, river cruises and significant sights abound in many countries. Some of the best National Parks in the world are located right here in the U.S.! Destinations of breathtaking natural beauty, a number of them feature fascinating cultural significance. Cruise along one of many U.S. rivers in luxury onboard charming paddle-wheelers, reveling in captivating history and incredible scenery along the journey.

One of the many amazing gifts of traveling is that it teaches us resilience, curiosity, and how to find joy in the little things. 

Wherever you are right now, I encourage you to embrace this moment and start dreaming of your next adventure. When we emerge again, imagine the new appreciation we’ll have for things like bustling cafes, sunlit beaches, and just being able to interact face to face again. There are so many beautiful things ahead. When you’re ready to get started, you can find me here. I can’t wait to chat with you about future adventures!

Why You Shouldn’t Let Coronavirus Stop You From Traveling

Travelers are wise to take the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak seriously, but there are a handful of facts to consider before canceling any travel plans or ruling out travel entirely.

For one, the World Health Organization (WHO)—the world’s authority on public health—continues to advise against any travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.

Today’s 24/7 news cycle may make it seem like you’re taking a risk simply by leaving your house, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. For now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is discouraging nonessential travel to only a few countries: China, South Korea, Italy and Iran. The U.S. State Department has also issued Level 4 (do not travel) travel advisories for China and Iran and Level 3 (reconsider travel) advisories for South Korea and Italy for the time being.

Keep in mind that 95 percent of all coronavirus cases are in China, with a majority limited to Wuhan in the Hubei Province where the outbreak originated.  Further, of the documented cases, over half have recovered, and of those currently infected, 86 percent are mild cases.

As has been the case since the outbreak began late last year, travelers are still more likely to be impacted by the common flu, which has affected approximately one billion people worldwide compared to fewer than 120,000 cases of coronavirus.

If the thought of flying amid the outbreak has you spooked, remember that the virus isn’t airborne and is only transmitted by droplets that live on surfaces for short periods. The WHO doesn’t consider airplane cabins any more conducive to spreading the coronavirus. Plus, cruise lines and airlines have already put procedures in place to prevent the spread of illness on flights and sailings.

At home or away, travelers can always protect themselves by implementing some common-sense practices such as washing hands regularly for at least 20 seconds and avoiding contact with their eyes, nose and mouth.

Even if you were to come down with the coronavirus in your travels, you should know that there is only a 2 percent fatality rate and that 2 percent almost always has a pre-existing condition, according to research compiled by award-winning airline consolidator Centrav. For perspective, previous outbreaks of SARS and MERS had mortality rates of 10 percent and 34 percent, respectively.

If knowing all of this and traveling amid the latest outbreak still scares you, consider working with a travel advisor who can save you time, money and stress while keeping you informed and up to date on the latest travel advisories and restrictions.

Trouble eating well when you travel? Try these tips!

One of the best parts of traveling is getting to taste and savor all kinds of new and delicious foods, whether you’re driving across the state or flying across the world. And, without a doubt, it’s fun to let go a little and eat things you wouldn’t normally eat during a week at home—that’s part of the freedom and excitement of being on vacation!

But we all know the feeling when we’ve had way too much for too many days in a row: the total lack of energy, the bloating, dehydration, headaches, or hangovers, the pronounced jet lag, the increased susceptibility to getting sick. All of these things can really get in the way of maximizing your travel enjoyment. And if you’re someone with food restrictions, you know the added frustration of trying to find good food that will be good to you, too!

The great news is that it’s easier than ever to make the kinds of food choices that will keep you healthy and energized while you’re away from your usual routine. Here are some simple ways to eat great while you’re taking in the best moments of your trip:

1. Plan ahead

Often when we’re traveling, we’re out of routine and aren’t eating at regular intervals. Sometimes we can go several hours without eating anything. Contrary to the popular myth that you should hold off eating to “save room” for a big meal, going for long stretches without eating actually slows metabolism and causes your body to become sluggish and tired and hang on to calories. Our bodies experience these periods as “mini-starvations” and send our brains into panic mode. To keep blood sugar stable and avoid energy lapses (which can then lead to overcompensating with high-sugar or fried foods), aim for eating a little bit every couple of hours while in transit and while you’re out and about, in the form of foods that are nutrient-dense and high in lean protein. Pack snacks for easy access: nuts, seeds, hard-boiled eggs, firm fruits (like apples), veggies and hummus, or natural fruit-and-nut bars.

If you know where you’re staying, scout out restaurants in the area of your hotel. Check with your hotel or resort to peruse menus and see what’s available. Once you arrive, you can use an app like AroundMe to locate healthier restaurants in your area. And check out these smart phone apps that can help you find gluten- and other allergen-free options while you travel.

2. Don’t forget the grocery store!

A supermarket, and especially a local co-op, can be your best ally while traveling. You’ll have easy, cheap access to fresh produce and bulk healthy snacks. You’ll find a wider variety of great foods that are free of gluten, dairy, and other common allergens at a reasonable cost. Plus, many co-ops also have a deli where you can get delicious sandwiches, salads, or wraps to take with you during the day.

3. Your mother was right: get your greens and take your vitamins!

While you’re traveling, your immune system is exposed to tons of new pathogens—especially on airplanes and other mass transit. You want to make sure your body has what it needs to stay healthy and fight germs and process toxins. Don’t forget to pack your multi-vitamin and your other supplements! If you can’t get ready access to fresh greens, consider getting some powdered greens that you can bring with you and easily mix into a glass of water or a morning smoothie.

4. Speaking of morning smoothies….

If you’re really dedicated to getting your daily intake of fruits and veggies, you might even consider bringing along a travel blender. This might seem extreme to some, but consider this: most of them are under $20, fit easily into a suitcase or the back of the car, and can be just the thing to quickly make a power breakfast of fruits, nuts, and vegetables that will keep you going all morning.

5. Drink way more water than you normally do.

Planes and hotel rooms are notoriously dry. Walking around all day expends energy and dehydrates. Often people drink alcohol or sodas with meals, which also are dehydrating. Drinking more than your usual 8 glasses of water a day will keep you energized, hydrate your cells, keep your skin glowing, and will help flush out toxins.

6. Drink less alcohol than everyone around you is drinking.

This can be challenging especially on business trips, where drinking is a familiar pastime. But in addition to worsening dehydration and jet lag, tossing back more than two drinks leads to more unhealthy eating. (A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men take in an extra 433 calories on average from alcohol and food when they consume more than two drinks!)

7. Get your eight hours’ beauty rest.

Easier said than done, I know! But getting decent rest helps steady your metabolism, resets your adrenal system, and boosts your immunity. Being sufficiently rested will make every other choice you face on your vacation so much easier.

8. Try the “one and done” rule.

Let yourself have treats and enjoy them—just keep it to once a day. Get that gorgeous piece of chocolate cake. Have an extra helping of steak fries. Order the thing that’s happily doused with butter, and love every single bite. And then, be done with the less-than-healthy food for that day. There’s always more.

Enjoy the culinary adventure that goes along with your fabulous vacation!  However you decide to plan meals on your trip, I’d love to help you get there. If you’re ready to start planning, contact me today. I can’t wait to chat!