27 in 27 Goals Recap + A New List | RebeccaWanderlusting

27 in 27 Goals Recap and A New List

What a year it has been.  27 was an interesting age to be; there were certainly a lot of ups and downs.  I feel very proud of what I’ve accomplished in this year, and it makes me hopeful for the year ahead.  Though there were some losses, I also feel like this year brought me some amazing new experiences.  I always start the year with a list of goals correlating with the age I turn, and my list of 27 goals proved to be quite the challenge.  I think I did pretty good considering.  Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Canadian AdventureDONE! – I went to Toronto and Niagara in Ontario in October.  Read about that trip here, here, here or here.
  2. Take a Trip on an Amtrak TrainDONE! – An Amtrak train transported me in style from Union Station in Chicago to Union Station in St. Louis.
  3. Run a Race – My friends, I tried my best to make this happen.  I signed up for two different races this year and couldn’t do one due to an injury and the second one was cancelled on me due to a crazy storm.  This one will have to be added to next year’s list.
  4. Have an Article Published in a MagazineDONE! Magnificent Mile– It was an online magazine but it still counts! I wrote something for Viva Lifestyle & Travel this summer about the here in Chicago.
  5. Read More Non-Fiction  – DONE! Out of the 25 books I’ve read so far this year, 15 of them were non-fiction.
  6. Be Better About NetworkingDONE! – Thanks to Shapr and attending local events, I can confidently say I am better at networking than I was at the start of this year.
  7. Find a CollaborationDONE! – I started the year with a new blog, co-written and edited with a friend of mine (which is now no longer a thing, but that’s totally fine – live and learn!) and am now endqqing the year as one-seventh of a wonderful group of women that host fundraisers for charities in the Chicago area.
  8. Figure Out my Personal StyleDONE! – It was a lot easier to work with a personal style when I don’t have to spend all my fashion money on suits like I used to.  I utilized Stitch Fix and shopping all the good sales to get some key items that suit my simple style.
  9. Invest in a Solid Wardrobe StapleDONE!  – As I said in #8, I was able to get quite a few key pieces like some great black booties and a camel colored trench.
  10. Go to MexicoHALF DONE! This trip is booked but I won’t be going until next month.
  11. Write More Fiction – There was not enough time this year to work on fiction writing, but I’ve got high hopes for the future of my fiction writing.
  12. Make & Sell Some Candles – This was a lofty goal. I made the candles but just ended up burning them myself, so at least I did half of it.
  13. Take a Yoga ClassDONE! – I found a yoga studio by my old apartment that I absolutely loved (Yoga for All Beings in West Town) and went to frequently.  Now, I’m attending a gym in Wicker Park that offers a multitude of other classes that I’ve been exploring.
  14. Learn to MeditateDONE! – I tried out the Headspace App to work on this one and I’m not entirely sure that sitting still for so long is for me, but I’m happy that I pushed through to make it work.
  15. Get a New TattooDONE! See for yourself:27 in 27 Goals List | RebeccaWanderlusting
  16. Explore a New Chicago NeighborhoodDONE! – Lincoln Square: neighborhood guide coming soon.
  17. Get a New JobDONE! – I started a new position as a Catering Sales Manager back in February and have been much happier since.
  18. Go to a National ParkDONE! – The Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
  19. Master Conversational French – I wish I could have accomplished this one! I’m switching over to Spanish now though in anticipation of my Mexico trip.
  20. Get a MassageDONE! – I visited the Spa at the Four Seasons for a massage and dinner by the pool earlier this year.
  21. Buy a Piece of ArtDONE! – Technically I won my pretty flamingo print in a raffle, but regardless of how I got it, it’s here and it’s lovely.
  22. Make Homemade PastaDONE! – This was not the most delicious meal I ever made.  In fact, the homemade noodles looked more like soggy french fries than anything, but I’m glad I tried and I think it will be much better next time.
  23. Take an Educational ClassDONE! – I’ve already talked about my creative non-fiction class quite a bit here but I would be happy to take another class with Gotham Writers any time.
  24. Go on a Trip Without Writing About ItDONE! – It was our yearly trip to Wisconsin but it was still nice to travel without the pressure of having to come up with new content.
  25. Organize a Clothing Swap – Nope. Just didn’t happen.
  26. Make Something for the ApartmentDONE! – Two woven yarn wall hangings, one for over the bar and one for over the bed.
  27. Go to a PlayDONE! – A Winter’s Tale outdoors in Forest Park in St. Louis.

27 in 27 Goals List | RebeccaWanderlusting

21.5/27 GOALS DONE – I think that’s pretty good!


This year’s list includes a classic literature reading list, a few travel goals (a mother-daughter trip, a beach vacation and visiting a new country), seeing a favorite musician in concert, checking out some new Chicago attractions and mastering some new recipes.  Here’s hoping 28 is my best year yet!

What are your goals for this upcoming year? 

Top Five Friday #25: In Flight Comfort Essentials | Rebecca Wanderlusting

Top Five Friday #25

 In Flight Comfort Essentials

There are few things I enjoy more than cuddling up in a window seat en route to an exciting destination. I’m pretty easy to please and don’t need much, but there are a few key items I require to be comfortable on a flight (my in flight comfort essentials, if you will).  Due to it being almost that wonderful, magical holiday season, I thought now would be a good time to share them to provide some gift ideas for the frequent travelers in your life.  So, without further ado, here are my must-have items to be my utmost comfy on airplanes:

  1. A Good Book: I love to read, I know I’ve made that plenty clear on this blog.  Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction but my favorite thing to read on a flight is a captivating novel.  For me, it’s one of the things that makes a long-haul flight more enjoyable.  If you’re in need of a good suggestion, of course I am ready and able to provide a few: 1. Night Film by Marisha Pessl 2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tart, 3. The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan 4. Horns by Joe Hill 
  2. A Blanket Scarf: It may be overplayed, but a blanket scarf is truly one of the things I will not fly without.  I mean come on, it’s a scarf that doubles as a blanket for when your on a short flight that doesn’t provide blankets or your neighbor stole yours or you need an extra.  It’s great, and it makes the flight so much cozier.
  3. Comfy Sweats: I am most certainly one of those people that wear sweats/leggings on planes and I am not at all ashamed.  If I have to sit for that long in one chair, you better believe I’m going to be wearing stretchy bottoms.  We actually came across a really cozy brand when we were in Toronto that I’m a little obsessed with now, Roots Canada.  No matter the brand, sweatpants are a must.
  4. Solid Snacks: No matter how long the flight is, snacks are necessary.  I also need lots of gum because my ears pop and the gum helps (this could be a myth, but it’s always worked for me).  As far as snacks go, I prefer granola bars, Shock Tarts, Chex Mix and white cheddar popcorn.
  5. Headphones & A Good Playlist: When I need a break from reading, I need a good playlist to occupy my time.  I don’t have fancy headphones (though I am in the market for some – like these), just the normal little earbuds, but they are essential for flights of any length. If you’re in need of a fantastic travel playlist, I’ve shared my favorites below:

What are your in flight comfort essentials? What won’t you fly without?

Creating a Travel Capsule Wardrobe| RebeccaWanderlusting

Creating a Travel Capsule Wardrobe

Every week or so, I decide that I’m going to go through all my clothes, donate everything I never wear and be left with a perfect capsule wardrobe.  Due to my inability to part with clothes I rarely way, it never happens, but the idea behind this obsession has inspired me to pack capsule wardrobes for each of my last few trips.  The point of a travel capsule wardrobe is to streamline your packing and allow you to mix and match staple items for multiple outfits while you’re abroad.  I used this method for a few of my longer trips and it worked like a dream.  Not only was my luggage much lighter, but I had different outfits for every day I was away.

Here are the 12 pieces you can pack to make for 10 days of outfits; aka, the perfect travel capsule wardrobe:

  • Jeans
  • Leggings
  • Skirt
  • Dress
  • White Button Up
  • T-Shirt
  • Blouse
  • Tank Top
  • Cardigan
  • Booties
  • Sneakers
  • Flats

Creating A Travel Capsule Wardrobe | RebeccaWanderlusting

Day 1: Jeans, White Button Up, Flats

Day 2: Leggings, T-Shirt, Sneakers

Day 3: Skirt, Blouse, Booties

Day 4: Dress, Cardigan, Flats

Day 5: Jeans, T-Shirt, Flats

Day 6: Leggings, White Button Up, Booties

Day 7: Skirt, Tank Top, Cardigan, Sneakers

Day 8: Jeans, Blouse, Booties

Day 9: Skirt, T-Shirt, Flats

Day 10: Dress, Booties

The key is to bring mostly neutral colors so everything can mix and match easily.  Add in a seasonally appropriate jacket, some jewelry and a purse and you’ll be good to go.  What is the best way to accumulate these items for a travel capsule wardrobe, you ask?  Well, with the right resources it’s pretty easy and not as expensive as you’d expect.  Here are my favorite shopping hacks for buying clothes on a budget:

  1. Raise: Raise is a brilliant way to spend less on your everyday items by buying discounted gift cards through their online marketplace.  I’ve used them to buy gift cards for my favorite clothing stores (Gap, Madewell & Nordstrom), and it’s super simple to buy the gift cards, print them out (or download them into the Raise mobile wallet app to keep them handy with all your other gift cards) and use them instantly.  If you’ve never used Raise before, use the code WANDER20 for $20 off your next purchase of $40 or more.
  2. Stitch Fix: This online stylist has changed the way I shop for most of my clothes, especially the basics that would comprise a capsule wardrobe.  It’s basically a subscription box customized to your shape and style that can come once a month or as often as you’d like.  My coworker talked me into trying this service and I have been hooked ever since.
  3. Outlet Malls: So obvious that it has they have to do the trick, outlet malls are my go to when I feel the need to supplement my wardrobe without spending too much.  The outlet mall closest to us is the Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont, IL which feature two levels of stores.  Outlet malls can be a free for all of bargain hunters elbowing their way to the deals, but sometimes you can find pieces so good it’s worth the fight.

Creating a Travel Capsule Wardrobe | RebeccaWanderlulsting

What are the key pieces in your travel capsule wardrobe?  What are your best tips for building a wardrobe on a budget?

Top Five Friday #20 - Travel Writing Tools | RebeccaWanderlusting.com

Top Five Friday #20

Travel Writing Tools

Over the years of writing this blog, I’ve come up with a pretty solid routine for writing and documenting my travels.  After some trial and error, I’ve found what works best and what I can leave behind.  I’ve found my favorite travel writing tools that I can easily throw into my bag and go.  It’s really been made into a science to be the most productive and still be able to enjoy the trip I’m on without getting bogged down trying to record it.  Through many adventures, here is what has worked best for me:

Top Five Friday #20 - Favorite Travel Writing Tools, RebeccaWanderlusting

  1. Notebooks & Pencils: I prefer to write everything longhand first.  For some reason, I feel like this is the best way to go through and write down my adventures of the day, journal-style, without self-editing too much while I go.  I’ve gone through quite a few notebooks over the years, and I have to say, there is no better feeling than completely filling up a notebook with my travel stories.  Also, I’m a pencil-over-pens girl, always.  I just like them.
  2. Camera: I use a combination of my iPhone camera and a D3300 Nikon DSLR camera.  If we’re going out for the night, I prefer to leave my big ol’ camera at the hotel so I’m not lugging it around; I’ll just rely on my phone camera for the evening.  I like to bring my camera with us for all of the daytime adventures to get the best quality photos.  After the photos are taken, I edit them using BeFunky.com, which is a free service, because I can’t bring myself to pay for Lightroom quite yet.  I know, I know, eventually I’ll break down and get it.

    Top Five Friday #20 - Favorite Travel Writing Tools, RebeccaWanderlusting

  3. iPhone Notes: I utilize my iPhone notes to keep a running list of all the stores, restaurants, bars and attractions we visit, as well as what we ordered there or other first impressions.  I find this is the easiest and most efficient way to keep track of things, and I’ll go back to these notes when I journal at the end of the day.
  4. Lonely Planet & Online Travel Resources: Of course before I go anywhere, I do some pretty extensive research and make a list of everything I want to see and do.  This research helps us streamline our choices when we’re on a trip and ensures that we get to try out everything we want to while we’re there.  I make note of operation hours, best times to visit and admission charges to stay on top of things.
  5. Laptop: I used to own a clunky old Dell laptop that I purchased right out of college.  I’d never bring this heavy thing anywhere because it only worked when it was plugged in and it was too much to carry.  Recently, I upgraded to a Lenovo Yoga, which is very light and thin, and I can’t wait to bring it with on our longer trips to write, research and post from the road.

Top Five Friday #20 - Favorite Travel Writing Tools, RebeccaWanderlusting

What are your go-to travel writing tools?  What’s your prefered method of documenting your travels?

Trying to Do it All, Lifestyle, RebeccaWanderlusting

A Note on Trying to Do It All

Nowadays, I think it’s very easy to feel like we need to be always be doing something of note.  Between social media, blogs, and books detailing the adventures and successes of others, there’s a pressure to jump in and make a name for yourself as well.  At least, I know I feel that way sometimes; the pressure of trying to do it all is definitely there.  The tricky part is knowing what to go for and finding the time to go for it.

Trying to Do it All, Lifestyle Post, RebeccaWanderlusting

As you probably know by now, I write this blog in addition to working 50 hours a week at my full-time job.  I’m not complaining, because I love both equally, but it does get a little tricky trying to plan for both.  For example, I work about every other weekend for my normal job, depending on when we have events and whether or not I need to be there for said events.  Sometimes I work two weekends in a row and am off three weekends in a row and sometimes I work only one weekend a month.  It really just depends.  Which, as you can imagine, makes it a little bit difficult to plan little weekend trips unless I know well ahead of time and can request them off.  It takes some of the spontaneity out of my travel plans.


But, as I said, I love both my jobs and I don’t think (actually, I know) that I would like to have a typical 9-5 Monday-Friday job.  I like that everything is up in the air, most of the time.  It only gets a little bit frustrating when I’m trying to plan for a project I need to get done in a specific time frame and I can’t nail down a weekend to go.  As a result of these circumstances, I’ve gotten very good at projecting which weekends will be busy and which weekends I can coerce Mike into checking out some new Midwestern destinations.  I’ve gotten better at planning larger trips well ahead of time so I can request the days off months in advance so someone can cover for me.  It takes some work, but I’m happy to do it.  It’s been awhile since I could truly say I like my day job.

Trying to Do it All, Lifestyle Post, RebeccaWanderlusting

While I do think it is entirely possible to have both a career and a successful side hustle/passion project, it certainly does take quite a bit of work and time-management.  Being passionate about both things in equal measure is key, and so is having a good support system behind you (thank you, Michael!).

Anyways… those are my musings for today!  I hope you can relate and that this particular post lets you know that yes, it’s hard, but you’re not alone in the hustle.


How do you deal with the pressure of trying to do it all? What tools and tricks do you use to be most productive?

Favorite Midwest Road Trips, RebeccaWanderlusting

Favorite Midwest Road Trips

I love the Midwest.  I was born here, raised here, and it’s here where I gained my love for travel.  My family has always had the travel bug, and we often explored towns closest to us as our family vacations.  Once I started traveling and branching out on my own, naturally I chose to explore this region first.  I haven’t been everywhere of note in the Midwest quite yet, but I have amassed a list of my favorite Midwest road trips that are tried and true.  If you’re in the Midwest and are looking for a fantastic weekend trip, these destinations would fit the bill perfectly.  Without further ado, here they are:


  1. Milwaukee, WI – An easy hour and a half drive up Route 94 from Chicago, Milwaukee is the perfect place for a quick weekend getaway.  Between the lakefront, the breweries and the amazing restaurants, you’re in for a treat.  When we were there last summer, I fell in love with the Milwaukee Art Museum, Lakefront Brewery and the Milwaukee Public Market.Midwest Road Trips, Milwaukee, RebeccaWanderlusting
  2. Warren Dunes, MI – The Warren Dunes (not to be confused with the Dunes in Indiana, which in my opinion are not as pretty) are a short-ish (2 hours) drive from Chicago.  The State Park is beautifully maintained and makes for a lovely day at the beach.  Bring a blanket and a picnic to make a day out of it, and if you want to spend the night, you can camp in the park as well.
  3. Starved Rock/Matthiessen State Parks, IL – Speaking of camping, you can hike one or both of these parks in one weekend, especially if you camp near by like we did.  Both parks are completely stunning, but Starved Rock offers a little more in terms of trails and lodging.  Matthiessen State Park is a hiking wonderland filled with inventive bridges over streams and beautiful canyons.  You can do either as a day trip as well, if you’re strapped for time.Midwest Road Trips, Matthiessen State Park, RebeccaWanderlusting
  4. Cedarburg, WI – Taking a trip to Cedarburg is like going back to a simpler time.  It’s a super cute town just north of Milwaukee with super cute restaurants and shops.  We visited this lovely destination after Kayaking the Milwaukee River and had fantastic burgers at Morton’s Wisconsin Restaurant.  I’ve been trying to plan a weekend trip here ever since.
  5. Grand Rapids, MI – It’s no secret that I love Grand Rapids; it’s one of my favorite cities in the U.S. It has all of my favorite things: breweries, antique stores and a great live music scene.  I’ve been there twice in the past two years and each time we’ve found new reasons to love it.  It’s an excellent choice for a fantastic weekend away.Grand Rapids, Midwest Road Trips, RebeccaWanderlusting
  6. St. Louis, MO – While St. Louis is a little bit longer of a haul from Chicago, it is definitely worth the trip.  It has history, (more) breweries, baseball and beautiful parks.  I had such fun time exploring this fun city, and I can’t wait to go again to hit the spots I missed.  I would recommend going to a Cardinals Game, the City Museum, Delmar Loop and Four Hands brewery.
  7. Galena, ILGalena is wonderful.  There’s no other way to put it.  The city is nestled in between hills and the Galena River and has a rich history, being the home of Ulysses S. Grant.  The Helluva Half Mile is a stretch of shops, restaurants and bars and runs right through downtown Galena.  Pick any of the great B&Bs (I would recommend the Lamberson Guest House)  in the area to stay for a weekend away and you’ll be in for a treat.Galena, Midwest Road Trips, RebeccaWanderlusting
  8. Lake Geneva, WI – Growing up, we spent many summer weekends cruising around Geneva Lake in Lake Geneva.  Besides housing one of the best lakes in the Midwest for boating and swimming, the town of Lake Geneva also has some super cute hotels, restaurants and stores.  Plus, it’s just an hour and a half drive from Chicago, which makes it a convenient weekend or day trip.  My favorite part of the city is the trail around the lake, which is a peaceful walking path from which you can view all of the very large and very beautiful houses on the water.

Midwest Road Trips, Lake Geneva, RebeccaWanderlusting

What are your favorite Midwest road trips? Where’s your favorite Midwest destination?

Save Money While Trip Planning, RebeccaWanderlusting

6 Unique Tips to Save Money While Trip Planning

I’ve touched on this a little bit here and there, but this year did not start out very well.  Slowly, each month it’s gotten better and better, due to a change in career, a change in neighborhood and an all-around change in attitude.  I think one of the big things that has helped is for the first time all year, I’m planning a trip outside the Midwest.  Oh man, it feels so good to be making travel plans again!

Mike and I are heading to Toronto in a couple of months, and planning all the details has been such a joy.  More on the specifics of this trip later, but I forgot how much I love looking into new destinations and picking out hotels and restaurants.  I got a little bit carried away and started planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta for my birthday in December too.

Save Money While Trip Planning, RebeccaWanderlusting

It was one of my goals this year to visit Canada and Mexico, so I’m trying to make it happen as well.  Because I’m trying to fit in two larger trips for the last few months of the year, I’m currently saving up and working on a budget to make it doable.  I’m always on the lookout for new ways to save some money, especially when traveling as it’s my most expensive habit.  I’ve tried out quite a few different tips and tricks to save money while trip planning and here’s what has worked best:

  1. Be flexible: The best way to start trip planning is by having no plan at all. If you’re flexible with your travel dates, you open yourself up to the cheapest options available.
  2. Clear Your Search History & Utilize the Right Websites: Your search history can impede your ability to get the best deal out there on airfare and hotels. Before you start your trip planning online, clear your search history and use the right websites to find the best deals.  My personal favorites are skyscanner.com, rome2rio.com, and tripadvisor.com.
  3. Join Ibotta: This app allows you to get money back from your everyday purchases and in the way of rebates, which can be used towards your travels. You can also use it to search for deals on popular travel booking sites.
  4. Check Groupon/LivingSocial: Either of these sites can provide you with discounts on hotel rooms, dining, and activities.  We’ve used both to save money at restaurants when we travel or to book tours and attractions.
  5. Master Travel Credit Card Points: I am, admittedly, a novice at this skill, but it’s still a great way to get money back when you pay for trips with your travel credit card. (If you’re looking for a great resource on this, check out The Points Guy).
  6. Use Raise Marketplace: I just started using this online hub for discounted gift cards and it’s quite the handy resource. On it, you can purchase gift card for your trip from airlines, hotel brands, AirBnB, and more for a percentage off the total.  As an added bonus, use my code (WANDER20) for $20 off your first purchase (of $40 or more).

Save Money While Trip Planning, RebeccaWanderlusting

How do you save money while trip planning? What are your best travel budgeting tips?

Eclipse Plans, 2017 Eclipse, RebeccaWanderlusting

Making Plans for the Eclipse

In exactly three weeks, a rare eclipse will happen occur over the United States.  This eclipse can be seen in totality in a diagonal line across the country, but can also be partially seen from most areas in the U.S. as well.  When I was in St. Louis last month, there was a lot of excited talk about this eclipse, as the city was directly in the path of totality.  This path stretches from Oregon across the U.S. to the East Coast, in South Carolina.

Unfortunately, I’ll be at work in Chicago at 11:54am on Monday, August 21, but, barring any cloudy weather, I fully intend on watching it from the Riverwalk on my lunch break.  I’ve even sent out a calendar invite for my coworkers to come join me, as I can’t imagine why anyone would want to miss this piece of history.  This one will be the closest to a total solar eclipse Chicago has seen in over ninety years.  But, wherever you are in the United States, you’ll be able to see a partial eclipse, which is what makes this event so exciting.  If you aren’t able to get to a destination in the path of the total eclipse, you’ll still be able to see something really amazing.  So, what should you do to get ready?  I’m glad you asked:

  1. Make sure you’re properly equipped. You will need special viewing glasses, this is non-negotiable. You won’t be safe in regular sunglasses or anything homemade.  Luckily for you (and me!), Warby Parker is handing out free viewing glasses is handing out free viewing glasses at any of their stores starting tomorrow.  You can find a store nearest you here.  This is serious though, you don’t want to do any damage to your eyes by not having the correct viewing glasses.
  2. Be in your chosen viewing point early to ensure you won’t miss a thing. This is crucial, because the eclipse won’t last very long (probably about two minutes, depending where you are in the U.S.)

    Eclipse Plans, NASA, RebeccaWanderlulsting
    Photo via NASA’s Eclipse Website
  3. Make an event out of it if you can, but get outside either way to see it. This will be an amazing sight!  Like I said, I’m making sure to get out on my lunch break to enjoy this beauty, but even if you can’t take an hour to sit outside to see it, try to get outside to take a peak (with your eclipse glasses of course).
  4. If you’re planning on traveling to a point of totality, be sure to make your arrangements as soon as possible, if they aren’t made already.  This is a major astronomical event, and believe it or not, many people are traveling just to see it.  In case you don’t already know, here is the map depicting the cities in which the total eclipse will occur:

Eclipse Map, NASA, RebeccaWanderlusting

I am so excited to see this eclipse, and I hope you are too!  Please be safe when viewing it and, if you’re willing, share your experiences seeing this beauty with me in the comments!

Weekend Getaway Essentials, Packing List, RebeccaWanderlusting

Weekend Getaway Essentials

This summer has consisted of multiple weekend excursions that I’ve had to pack quickly and rush off to.  From a quick trip up to our lake house in Wisconsin to a last minute trip to St. Louis, I’ve had to throw things together and go a couple of times.  Now, I’m not complaining, I think better when there’s a time limit and pack minimally when I can only bring a small duffle bag.  The preparation for the trips I’ve had so far have made me into a little bit of an expert in the quick weekend getaway essentials.  There’s still some summer weekends left this year, which means I’m sure there will be a couple more getaways in my future (and hopefully yours too!).  So, without further ado, here’s my complete list of weekend getaway essentials, ready for you to pack and go and a moment’s notice:


  • Jean Shorts
  • Pants
  • (1) Dress
  • (1) Skirt
  • (2) T Shirts
  • (2) Tank Tops
  • (1) Blouse
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit & Cover Up
  • Undergarments & Socks


  • Flats
  • Sandals
  • Comfy sneakers


  • Versatile Necklace
  • Watch
  • Default Earrings
  • Lightweight Scarf
  • Small Purse

This little capsule wardrobe gives you plenty of options for casual, comfortable or more dressed-up.  With these few items, you can have about ten different outfits for whatever activities and outings your getaway throws at you.

Weekend Getaway Essentials, RebeccaWanderlusting


  • Whatever’s in Your Normal Make-Up Bag
  • Face Wipes
  • Moisturizer
  • Deodorant
  • Razor (if you aren’t flying with only a carry-on)
  • Hair Serum
  • Sunscreen
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Hairbrush & Hairties


Weekend Getaway Essentials, RebeccaWanderlusting

All of these items would fit in my duffle bag and tote, which makes for an easy check in for flights, train rides, buses or however you are getting to your destination.  Safe travels to all and enjoy your weekend getaways!

What are your weekend getaway essentials? Where are you headed next?

National Emerald Club, Airport Anxiety, RebeccaWanderlusting

Dealing with Airport Anxiety

I have this problem with anxiety. It makes me overthink and do certain things I wouldn’t normally do, just to calm my brain. One of the main problems I have when traveling is the anxiety that comes with trying to make a plane, train or other mode of transportation on time. This issue wreaks havoc on my brain in the weeks before I travel. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many times I’ve woken up in a panic from a bad travel dream. Past nightmares have included: Getting to the airport too late and missing my flight or getting to the airport on time but forgetting something critical (like my passport), etc.

The result is usually me arriving at the airport or station obscenely early. This is not a horrible problem to have (especially because in the best-case scenario) as you usually have time for a meal and to read a book, and if the airport is crowded (in the worst-case scenario), you have extra time to get through long lines at security.

Early airport arrival has been my consistent practice ever since I started traveling on my own. I’ve made a habit of wandering around the airport, getting a coffee or a mimosa (depending on my mood) and finding a good place to read.

National Emerald Club, Airport Anxiety, RebeccaWanderlusting

Recently, I was at O’Hare (ridiculously early as per usual) and visited the National Emerald Club Lounge. This lovely oasis in the sea of suitcase-wielding travelers is equipped with TVs, lounge chairs, free Wi-Fi and tablets to check your flight status. It’s a great place to recharge, both literally and figuratively, since the lounge has charging stations, too. For this particular visit to O’Hare, it was the perfect place to drink my coffee (there’s a Starbucks right next door) and wait for Mike to get to the airport to pick me up.

For someone who is through security two hours before boarding time, it’s a luxury to have these amenities readily available. The comfy lounge chairs are a great place to relax and read or check the news if you didn’t bring a book. And, if you’re not already a member, you can enroll in the Emerald Club loyalty program directly from the tablets. There’s a National staff member around on weekdays to help you if you have questions.

If O’Hare isn’t your home airport, you’re still in luck. National Emerald Club Lounges are located in each of the main airports with the highest volume of business travelers: Denver, St. Louis, Dallas/Fort Worth and Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C.

So, if you’re an anxious traveler (like me) and you happen to be in one of these airports insanely early for your flight, check out the National Emerald Club Lounge for a comfy resting spot to relax before you board.

National Emerald Club, Airport Anxiety, RebeccaWanderlusting

How do you fight pre-flight anxiety? What’s your go-to spot in the airport to relax before a flight?

Full Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with National Car Rental. All opinions are, of course, my own.