Everyone has had the travel blues, me included. Not being able to travel has really ruined my social life, LOL. I work, sleep, write and TRAVEL. So without travel you can see how boring life can become.
However, I broke out last week and spent some much needed time in Nags Head, on the Outer Banks of NC. It's a beautiful place. Very low traffic, private beach access, wild horses, and the fresh air is healing (See my blog about Nags Head from last year for more about. Nags Head).
Today, lets talk about what you can expect while traveling. Most hotels have re-opened but here is what you need to know before you go:
1. Most hotels are not providing room service or in-room housekeeping during your stay.
2. You will need to collect your own trash & dirty towels and place them outside your door for collection. The front desk or housekeeping will provide clean towels, you will have to pick up or grab off cart if seen near your room.
4. Be prepared to wait for the elevator as some will say they are practicing social distancing.
5. If a hotel offers breakfast, it will be grab and go & full of carbs. They are not allowed to serve hot breakfast for now.
My Travel Suggestions:
1. Take a cooler and plan your meals - I lived off fresh fruit, tuna and turkey the week.
2. Drink plenty of water & take a daily vitamin.
3. Wash your hands often.
4. Wipe down all hard surfaces in your hotel or airbnb before unpacking (I did this pre pandemic).
5. Spray fabric furniture with lysol or ask for a extra sheet to cover fabric seating. Always check bed for bedbugs.
6. If you have questions prior to travel call the hotel and ask questions so you know what to expect.
7. Just enjoy yourself.
California is all about the vibes. Most travelers fall in love no matter where they find themselves. But there is something different about Cali. The people and energy is relax and chill. There is so much to do and depending on how long you plan to stay you won't be able to do it all. Planning is defiantly a must before you get to LA. Planning your trip will save you time and money. Trust me on this, OK!
So let me tell you...This trip was special for several reasons. One, it was my birthday! I promised myself I was going to travel to LA and that is exactly what I did. My good friend Reggie met me there and we had a great time. I am so glad we did LA together. There are so many things you should know but I'm going to give you the tea about the most important tips you need to know before you travel to LA.
LA Travel Tips:
1. Plan to rent a car - LA is not like most large cities with a robust metro system. It will literally take you all day and night to figure out the bus/train and nothing is close to anything. And most attractions are 30 to 60 minutes apart.
2. Budget $1500 for expenses: Gas, parking fees, entry fees, food...all adds up. If you like to shop, budget more. You can travel with less spending money, but...this should be your goal if you want to have a great time.
3. Make sure you have a valid ID and major credit card: mostly for the car rental, but you never know what could happen. Make sure your ID is not CRACKED or the car rental company will not accept it.
4. Book restaurant reservations IN ADVANCE - Going to LA expecting a table at popular restaurants IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Trust me, we learned the hard way.
5. Take the 5 Hour Bus Tours- It's a great way to see a lot of LA in one afternoon. You ride more than anything, but you hit some of the hot spots without having to drive.
6. Wear comfortable shoes: If you plan to see the Hollywood sign up close, you will have to hike! Be prepared. I was not and let's just say, my Hollywood pic was not up close LOL.
7. If you plan to visit the beach, take a beach chair or blanket.
So, these are the major takeaways for LA Travel. Going back is on my list. LA has to be one of my favorite places, it even trumps NY; who knew that was possible? Not me!
Cheers to your next adventure. No matter where life finds you, remember to embrace it!
fall beach vibes - Corolla, nc
Tucked away along the coast of the Outer Banks is a little piece of heaven. If you ride down highway 12 long enough you will drive directly onto the beautiful sands of Corolla Beach. Literally the road run out and into the ocean, it's a mind blowing experience. A majestic island full of charm is the perfect fall family or romantic escape. Fall is a great time to unwind, relax, cook your favorite meal, sleep in, or snuggle on the couch with the ocean singing in the background. Personally, the crashing waves, walks on the beach, beautiful sunsets and the famous Wild Spanish mustangs were the highlight of my trip. I must warn you, although the mustangs are irresistible, they are wild. By law, do not touch, feed or get within 50 feet of these beautiful creatures for your safety and theirs.
Meet Lisa. We met 20 years ago at House of Hope. I was thankful then and 20 years later I am thankful now for our sistership. Good friends are hard to find, when you find one, keep them close. At the beach we laughed, talked, walked, she baked and I cooked. These are the moments that make life sweeter. Spending time with the people I love is a new and necessary priority. Memories last longer than things. I want the memories, life is too short for anything less.
Currituck Beach Light at dusk
beach perks & Need to know
The best thing I have done at the beach - EVER - in my lifetime is DRIVE ON IT. Talk about amazing...
If you have never driven on the beach you MUST.
I hope you will plan to visit this beautiful beach. Take someone you really like and have the best time of your lives. From my heart to yours, here's to lots of travel and lots of love.
Peace and blessings,
Good times were shared between great friends old and new when we traveled to New Orleans on a whim. The weekend was what we needed. I was happy to get away to enjoy new scenery, eat amazing seafood, connect with new friends and walk the streets of NOLA like I had the keys to the city. My travel companions came from the Philadelphia, Virginia and me and my travel partner flew in from NC.
Side Bar: Spirit Airlines was our choice airline. We has a smooth flight, the big seats in the front were clutch. I fit with no problem and almost didn't need a seatbelt extender. I am sold on Spirit, and I'll be flying wherever their airline will take me.
We arrived, checked-in and grabbed lunch at a local favorite, Lil; Dizzys Cafe. This modest yet popular corner location provided a soul food buffet that will make you hurt yourself, heart-warming southern hospitality, real sweet tea and an atmosphere where you feel like everybody knows your name. The southern fried chicken, greens and cornbread made you wish you had more room at the bottom right corner of your stomach. Listen, we ate what we could wishing we could eat more, but we figured we would just go back before we left. We met the queen of gumbo who was proud to report she was youtube famous as she pulled out her phone to show us her receipts. Now that I think about it, this may have been one of my favorite highlights of the weekend besides the new tattoo I decided to get (I'll share that later).
NOLA is a beautiful place to visit, it's simple. Filled with wonderful people, tons of rich African American history and faithful football fans, there is something for everyone. We rode the trolly from one end of the line to the next...let's just say it was very entertaining. I hugged one of the local homeless trolly riders and of course he had to hold on a lil too long. I thought he was harmless...NOT.
We visited a local plantation and went on a crocodile tour. I wish I could tell you that I had a good time, but what I will say is this; when we go back in May, 2020 I will be better ready. To end a awesome weekend, we lost money at the nearby casino and laughed about it. As long as you were playing you could order drinks. Well me and my homegirl didn't know you had to play 20 minutes in between drinks -so we played 3 min and ordered another drink. The waitress was kind enough to inform us of the rule...so we slowed down the sips and hit the button less and less to help the time go by.
Cafe Beignet is where I met Jesus on a Sunday morning in the form of a little powered pocket of sweet goodness doused in white powder goodness paired with a bourbon mango slushy all before noon. Let me tell you again...I met Jesus in that cafe and He still saves.
Until next time, Travel Ofter Travel Well. Join us in NOLA May, 2020.
The whimsical winding mountain roads and charming towns tucked in between offers fun, thrilling adventures, romantic nature hikes, cooling waterfalls, local winery’s, shopping and fine dining. Just a few hours south of Charlotte, NC, the Appalachian Mountains are home to the Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountain, Beech Mountain, Banner Elk/Blowing Rock (small towns) and Sugar Mountain. Located within 30 to 40 minutes of each other, you can visit each in just a few days, or take a few day trips.
Recently a good friend and I escaped to Beech Mountain. We enjoyed 4 days of mountain bliss. Beech Mountain peaks at 5,506 feet in elevation; the perfect dream location for skiers during winter. Beech Mountain is one of my favorite summer hideouts, so don’t tell everyone about it...OK? LOL… Right off Beech Mountain is a romantic little town, Banner Elk. Any given night you can find a great meal, the perfect bottle of wine, good people and local live music. For the art lovers, catch a professional performance at Lees McRae College, enjoy the local arts community or take a local pottery class; it's all within your reach.
The panoramic mountain views, refreshing breezes, and rejuvenating peacefulness is just what we needed. We took one day to advantage through the beautiful country side, traveling through the mountains taking in one winding road after the next. Being elevated brought clarity, joy and calmness I hadn't felt in some time. In life, we waste a lot of time doing and doing and not enough time enjoying the simple things life has to offer. High County living will defiantly give you a new outlook on life… Essential living at its best.
Visiting the beautiful mountains of North Carolina is a must. Here are a few Do's you should add to your travel itinerary we found to be worth wild.
Travel Tips For Friends & Couples
Traveling with great friends is an amazing experience when done the right way. Clancy and I have been friends since high school....don't count but it's more than 20 years. Our adventure through the High Country together was more than I could ask for. Traveling with friends or a mate is an art. Below are a few tips you should consider when traveling with your friends, a group or mate:
Know why You Are Traveling
Having a clear goal for your travels is by FAR the most important detail to discuss before planning. Wanting to travel to the same destination, does not always mean you desire to do the same activities when you arrive. This is where the art of compromise comes in. Essentially, the goal is to ensure everyone's travel needs are met. For example, Clancy and I were able to do everything we wanted for the time we were there. This made for an enjoyable time spent together.
Don’t be afraid to go in individual directions. It’s OK for you to take a day and go do you. After, meet back up with your travel companion/s over dinner and swap stories from your journey. This will make for great meaningful conversation. Time apart is key to traveling with groups, friends or mates. It’s wonderful and amazing to have someone to share your travel journey with and it’s equally important to set aside “me” time. Too much togetherness can put unnecessary strain on a group or couple trip.
If traveling with an introvert, it’s important to know they need quiet time to recharge. Don’t confuse this with anti-social behavior, everyone has different needs which shows up in different ways. Learn to go with the flow…
Money, Money, Money
Some people budget for travel, some travel on a budget. My advice, budget for your travel. It's much easier when traveling with others. If you want to travel on a budget, traveling alone might be easier. You never know what you are going to do or what you might want to buy when traveling. You only live once, so make sure to have a few extra coins on reserve just in case. It’s just money, you can make more, promise!
Talk About Everything
No matter who you travel with, communication is the key to a successful trip. Decide upfront who is going to do what. When traveling to the mountains, Clancy and I decided upfront who was going to do what, and it was the perfect balance to our shared experience. Between the two of us, we ate and drank whatever we wanted, took turns on the tab...it was a great time. The joy of traveling is found in how well you communicate, so set the standard and travel.
It’s true! When you travel with others, you are more likely to do things you never would do on your own. When your friend/s wants to do something and you don’t; most times you will do & sometimes you won't. Peer pressure can be good when it exposes you to something good. Again, go with the flow.
Getting to Know All About You
Traveling is a great way to get to know people. If you want to learn about some real quick; just take a trip. You are sure to observe and discover things about your friends or mate that you did not know before. Hopefully what you observe will make you appreciate them more, I know it did for me! Thanks, Clancy for a great time in the High Country.
Go with the Flow
Traveling with others requires patience and flexibility. You won’t get to do and see everything, and that’s OK. Remember, you can always go back. The important thing is to embrace your time with loved ones, connect and create life long memories.
Wooo Hooo... You made it!
I humbly thank you for your time. My goal is to make my travel blog worth your time. I enjoy sharing my experiences with you. I hope to inspire my readers to travel well and travel often. For some, travel is an unrealized dream but it doesn't have to be. For a long time, I allowed anxiety about being over-weight prevent me from traveling. After getting over myself, I decided to travel with purpose overcoming my fears & I have no intentions of stopping now.
It means a lot to have you join me in this quest. As always share, comment and subscribe.
Until the next time, travel well and travel often,
“It is better to have seen the promised land for yourself, hearing about it is for the blind”. – Kenyatta J.
Why Having a Travel Planner is Clutch -Everyone is talking about the boom happening in travel. 2019 was projected to be one of the busiest travel years and it has not disappointed. Along with the travel boom comes the price boom and predatory markups from travel agents which is why I decided to become a Travel Planning expert offering my clients the best in travel logistics saving them time and money.
Travel planners are passionate about helping people travel. My mission is two-fold. I encourage fat travel and I want my clients to enjoy the luxury of not stressing about planning their travel. When I started my travel planning business in 2017, everyone asked “What is a travel planner”? Simply, travel planners are hired to plan travel. We are responsible for travel logistics ensuring you travel well and know as much as possible before you travel. Check out why having a travel planner is CLUTCH:
1. Travel Can Be Complicated
Travel requires hours of dedicated research. If you are new to traveling, the hours you spend attempting to plan travel will be overwhelming. Travel planners have their ears to the ground and know where to look for deals saving you time and money. Have a professional travel planner to handle travel logistics will make traveling more enjoyable. It will also impact how much you spend how well you enjoy your vacation or getaway.
2. Travel Planners Know What You Do Not
Professional travel planners love what they do, or they would not do it! We spend hours researching, traveling and educating ourselves for the purpose of offering you the best in travel advise and planning. It’s our job to know things that will make your travel experience enjoyable. We learn tricks of the trade which we pass along so you are aware of what to expect. It’s really a beautiful partnership. Travel planners technically provide you a prescription for travel and it’s up to you to take the medication.
3. Save Time and Stress Less
Travel planners save you time and money, period! Reading about travel destination is fun, but planning a trip is hard work. It requires paying attention to details. It requires knowing the best way to travel. Small travel details and logistics can make or break your experience. Travel planners travel, observe, and find loop holes to help us better advise our clients.
4. The “Just in Case” Situations
Travel can sometimes be unpredictable. When things happen, your travel planner is there to save you time and offer professional advice about your situation. Travel planners are also trained to be proactive addressing possible issues they see before they reach the traveler. The perks are tremendous.
5. Travel Planners Provide Trust and Comfort
In a world with computerized everything, having a travel planner on your side will prove to be helpful. People do business with people, not computers or travel agents you may or may not know or see face-to-face. Travel planners are with you from day one, by your side, sending reminders, following up with fellow travelers (for those traveling in large groups), processing payments, offering advise etc. Unlike travel agents, travel planners offer the option of traveling with clients to ensure their group travel is flawless. Keeping up with a group travel itinerary will leave you exhausted after your "vacation" you intended to enjoy. The great news is travel planners are here to serve you before, during and on your vacation as needed.
6. Travel News & Updates
Sometimes travel destinations are hit with horrible weather making it impossible to travel. Your travel planner will keep you informed of any and all changes that might arise.
7. Save Money – Enjoy the Luxury of Not Planning Your Own Travel
Because travel planners are always looking for the best deals, you will save money.
Because travel planners know where to look, you will save money &
Because a travel planners goal is to save you money…you will save money.
8.Travel Planning Is a Luxury
It’s simple, you deserve to enjoy the simple luxuries in life. Long gone are the days where you work until you are too old or dead to travel. You work hard now…you should play hard now...and you don’t need anyone's permission.
Repeat after me: Vacation is not a luxury, it’s a lifestyle. The same way you plan to buy a new bag, shoes or outfit is the same way you purpose to travel. Travel planning is an inexpensive luxury you can’t afford not to invest in. The perks are more attractive than the countless hours you will spend only to end up where you started.
9. You Could, But Why Would You
So, I’m no fool…I know you are perfectly capable of planning your own travel. However, do you have the time, do you want to, are you great at it, and do you have the patience to do it? Why waste time planning when you could invest your time making more money, so you can travel. My suggestion, you keep your bags packed and let me do the planning.
Welcome to my travel blog. I feel blessed to share my travel experiences and travel tips. Travel is fun, healing and inspiring. My suggestion, plan your life around your travel...Cheers.