Monthly Memo: January

Happy Sunday!

Things have finally started to slow down from the holidays, which I am so grateful for.  Life has been really hectic lately, so I’m happy to have a chance to relax and catch up on some things.  Today in particular is shaping up to be a treat yo self day (I know I am way behind on this, but I have been binge-ing Parks and Recreation lately and I am obsessed).  I plan on:

  • Reorganizing my closet
  • Doing some travel planning
  • Enjoying a face mask (Origins Clear Improvements Charcoal Mask)
  • Painting my nails (Miss Fancy Pants by Essie)
  • And trying out a new hair color (full disclosure: gotta cover up those grays!)

Monthly Memo: January, RebeccaWanderlusting

Then, I’m going to snuggle up with Brody and have a glass of wine while we watch the Golden Globes.  Our little pup has been with us for two months now, and he’s getting more and more comfortable in his new home.  He’s actually sitting in my lap as I type this, and that’s some progress.  This morning I took him for a nice long walk around our neighborhood, which I think we both enjoyed despite the cold.  Chicago has been freezing lately, which has me dreaming of warm weather and beaches.

Monthly Memo: January, RebeccaWanderlusting

As far as trip planning is concerned, I’m a little limited right now, but I’m trying to work around it.  I’ve been looking into some cheap weekend trips, so hopefully I can pull something together in the next couple weeks.  Or if all else fails, maybe a little staycation could be arranged.  I received a scratch off map for Christmas this year, which is something I’ve been wanting for a while.  Though, now that I have it, it’s only making me want to travel more!

Monthly Memo: January, RebeccaWanderlusting

This month I’m looking forward to keeping the tradition of January spa days with my friend, Amber, starting some different projects that I’m very excited about, and finding new and creative ways to beat the cold.  I am also planning on getting back into a manageable workout routine.  The holidays really derailed my morning runs, but I’m hoping to get back into it now.  One of my other goals for the year was to read more classic novels, so right now I’m reading “Beloved” by Toni Morrison and am really liking it.  What about you? What are your goals for this year? What are you currently reading? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Monthly Memo January, RebeccaWanderlusting

Have a wonderful January, everyone!

Tips to Maximize Weekend Travel

Top 5 Friday #8

Tips to Maximize Weekend Travel

I, like a lot of people out there, am mostly confined to weekend travel due to my job.  Because of this, I am constantly trying to find ways to make the most of my weekend adventures.  Sure, there are times when I splurge on trips and use my vacation days to travel longer, but since I prefer to travel more often than not, plain old weekends usually just have to do.  If this sounds familiar to your own travel situation, you’re in luck!  Below are my top five tips for maximizing your weekend travels:

  1. Pick a destination that doesn’t take a ton of time to get to: Whether you’re driving, flying, taking a train, boating, whatever, don’t spend the entire weekend in transit.  The “it’s the journey, not the destination” theory does not apply here.  It’s the destination that matters when you only have a few days to enjoy the trip.  My preferred maximum travel time is 4-5 hours each way, and even that’s pushing it.  Any more than that won’t give you enough time to explore your chosen destination.

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  1. When choosing a destination, choose a theme for your trip: This is an important step: what do you want to do over this weekend trip? Do you want to relax by the pool and read?  Do you want to get out and walk around and explore?  Do you want to do extreme sports?  Pick a destination that fits what you want to accomplish best.  Or, fits your budget best.  I’m a big fan of picking the cheapest air fare and then planning accordingly (see: “Trip Planning: Washington, D.C.“), but that’s not for everyone.  Take a minute to think about your budget and what you want out of the trip.

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  1. Make note of restaurants you wouldn’t want to miss while you’re there: You certainly do not have to plan out every meal, but I think it’s important to make sure you hit the restaurants that you really wanted to go to.  Make reservations if you have to, or plan to explore around that certain restaurant in order to make it a part of your itinerary.  I don’t know about you, but I really do not enjoy wandering around aimlessly trying to find somewhere great for dinner only to settle for something mediocre because I’m too hungry to keep looking.  I usually do a little restaurant research online before a trip and pick one or two that look too delicious to skip.

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  1. Don’t over-plan: To piggy back on my last point, make note of the things that you really want to see/do/eat, but don’t schedule every minute of your trip.  Allow some time to explore and discover some new things.  I usually make a list of attractions I’d like to see, then try to walk to them all so I can find new attractions along the way.  When you don’t have an unlimited amount of time to explore somewhere new, it’s great to have a good idea of what you want to accomplish while you’re there.  But it’s also great to not drive yourself crazy with a strict itinerary.  Find a happy medium.

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  1. When all else fails – Staycation!: I am of the belief that a staycation can be just as restorative as a vacation.  Sometimes all it takes to recharge and lift your spirits is to get out of your house/apartment and break up your routine.  Explore your own city or kick back for a spa day and room service in those wonderful fluffy white hotel beds.  If you want more tips on planning a fantastic staycation, check here.

 

What is the best weekend trip you’ve been on lately? How did you plan it?

Tips to Maximize Weekend Travel

Top Five Friday #8

Tips to Maximize Weekend Travel

I, like a lot of people out there, am mostly confined to weekend travel due to my job.  Because of this, I am constantly trying to find ways to make the most of my weekend adventures.  Sure, there are times when I splurge on trips and use my vacation days to travel longer, but since I prefer to travel more often than not, plain old weekends usually just have to do.  If this sounds familiar to your own travel situation, you’re in luck!  Below are my top five tips for maximizing your weekend travels:

  1. Pick a destination that doesn’t take a ton of time to get to: Whether you’re driving, flying, taking a train, boating, whatever, don’t spend the entire weekend in transit.  The “it’s the journey, not the destination” theory does not apply here.  It’s the destination that matters when you only have a few days to enjoy the trip.  My preferred maximum travel time is 4-5 hours each way, and even that’s pushing it.  Any more than that won’t give you enough time to explore your chosen destination.

015

  1. When choosing a destination, choose a theme for your trip: This is an important step: what do you want to do over this weekend trip? Do you want to relax by the pool and read?  Do you want to get out and walk around and explore?  Do you want to do extreme sports?  Pick a destination that fits what you want to accomplish best.  Or, fits your budget best.  I’m a big fan of picking the cheapest air fare and then planning accordingly (see: “Trip Planning: Washington, D.C.“), but that’s not for everyone.  Take a minute to think about your budget and what you want out of the trip.

089

  1. Make note of restaurants you wouldn’t want to miss while you’re there: You certainly do not have to plan out every meal, but I think it’s important to make sure you hit the restaurants that you really wanted to go to.  Make reservations if you have to, or plan to explore around that certain restaurant in order to make it a part of your itinerary.  I don’t know about you, but I really do not enjoy wandering around aimlessly trying to find somewhere great for dinner only to settle for something mediocre because I’m too hungry to keep looking.  I usually do a little restaurant research online before a trip and pick one or two that look too delicious to skip.

032

  1. Don’t over-plan: To piggy back on my last point, make note of the things that you really want to see/do/eat, but don’t schedule every minute of your trip.  Allow some time to explore and discover some new things.  I usually make a list of attractions I’d like to see, then try to walk to them all so I can find new attractions along the way.  When you don’t have an unlimited amount of time to explore somewhere new, it’s great to have a good idea of what you want to accomplish while you’re there.  But it’s also great to not drive yourself crazy with a strict itinerary.  Find a happy medium.

039

  1. When all else fails – Staycation!: I am of the belief that a staycation can be just as restorative as a vacation.  Sometimes all it takes to recharge and lift your spirits is to get out of your house/apartment and break up your routine.  Explore your own city or kick back for a spa day and room service in those wonderful fluffy white hotel beds.  If you want more tips on planning a fantastic staycation, check here.

 

What is the best weekend trip you’ve been on lately? How did you plan it?