As resident Californians, other than watching nostalgic Christmas movies and inhaling peppermint bark the only way we can get a real (read: cold and snowy) Christmas is to travel! So for the past few years, we’ve been escaping to Europe in the winter seeking snow, cold, short days, and warm comfort food. After just a few trips, the idea of Christmas without Christmas Markets just feels empty, meaningless, and devoid of calories. The one problem with our Christmas in Europe habit is that it’s … er, not exactly cheap. So, we strap on our packs, book some hostels, and go backpacking! In this post we’re laying out all of our favorite, field-tested essentials for backpacking Europe in the winter, from gear to clothing. Here’s everything you need to stay warm, healthy, and happy on your trip, so you can spend less time stressing and more time drinking glühwein and stuffing your face with lebkuchen. Mmmm….
Not all shoes are up for the challenges of travel. After field-testing like crazy, I’ve found FOUR excellent pairs of travel shoes for men. Yes, four. Sure, it may sound extra, but let’s be real – you’re not winning any dude-awards wearing your Reef flip flops hiking or to a four-star restaurant, my guy. These shoes are each lightweight enough to pack easily, yet sturdy enough to handle absolutely anything – and I’ve put them through the ringer just to make sure. With these four shoes, I’m able to handle snow, rain, high-altitude hiking, cobblestones, mud, sand and everything in between. I don’t think twice about what shoes to pack for trips – I just stuff these into my pack and go, knowing I’m covered no matter what adventure I’m up against. They’ve changed my travel game entirely – and they can change yours, too!
It took me years to find the perfect combination of women’s travel shoes. Every trip I would stare dubiously at my suitcase, trying to figure out how the heck I was going to cram in the number of shoes I needed to achieve the various activities I wanted to do – you know, adventurous things like walking without hobbling in pain or hiking without hobbling in pain – while also trying to maintain a basic level of not-hideous-ness. But today, that’s all changed. After trying on, returning, trying on again, and field-testing like crazy, I’ve found FOUR absolutely amazing pairs of travel shoes for women. They’re all lightweight and easy to cram into your luggage without taking up a ton of room – AND legit cute, too! With these four shoes, I’m able to cover all of my bases and not think twice about what shoes to pack for trips. It’s changed my travel game, and I’m about to change yours, too!
As a travel blogger, I do a lot of flying. It’s part of the gig. Except unlike my old corporate job, I don’t have the luxury of a corporate card, priority anything, or any other amenities. Every time I fly, I’m stuck back in economy with all the rest of the plebes, silently praying to the almighty flight gods that my legs don’t go to sleep before I do. And honestly, there’s no way to sugarcoat it: long haul flights suck. They just do. Fact. Unfortunately, they’re also a fact of my job … and my life. Whether it’s a 24 trip to Bali or a 46 hour haul to Italy (truly the worst series of terrible layovers of my life) I’ve learned a few survival tips to help make the inevitably miserable journey a little bit less awful. And I’m here to pass along all of my wisdom! Here are some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned in my years of flying to help survive long-haul flights (or short ones, whatever. I hate all flights equally, tbh).
The Galapagos Islands, located off the coast of Ecuador in South America, are a bucket list destination. From the clear turquoise water and white sand beaches to the huge variety of unique animals and happy, ecologically protected wildlife, the Galapagos Islands are a magical place to visit. We spent 9 incredible days exploring the Galapagos Islands on a budget and it was by FAR the highlight of our trip to South America. But there were definitely some surprises along the way. Like for starters, the Galapagos Islands aren’t tropical. At all. In fact, from island to island, the geography completely changes: Isla Isabela has palm trees and sandy beaches, but Santa Cruz is actually covered in desert and cactus and volcanic rock. The geological variation is part of what make the islands SO interesting – and surprising! Now that we’ve had some time to reflect, we’ve created an essential Galapagos Packing List to help you plan your trip.
I spent ages searching for the perfect pair of travel pants to bring on our year-long backpacking trip. What I quickly found was every pair of men’s travel pants falls into two categories: there’s the baggy pants with elephants on them, and then there’s the baggy pants with 86 cargo pockets & 53 zippers. But then, finally, I found 3 pairs of men’s travel pants that are EXACTLY what I wanted. They’re functional, techincal, and not hideous! These are the only 3 pairs of men’s travel pants you’ll need.