The Wayward Workbook

Pull up a seat, grab a cup of coffee, and be prepared to get inspired to travel.

 Photo: Bri Long

Photo: Bri Long

I want to introduce to you the Wayward Workbook, a minimalist travel workbook. 

Wayward Workbook was born from the desire of returning home from traveling with something to hold and remember all those moments we often forget as time passes. 

While exploring new cities or countries, it's easy to become overwhelmed by all the foreign sights, environment, culture, and people. We often focus on the "bigger picture" things and lose sight of the small, but incredibly significant, moments. Reflecting back on my own travels, I wish I could tell you the name of the food truck I ate from in Egypt, the name of the streets I walked down in Israel, or the beer I drank on the subway in Frankfort. These all seem like easy things to remember, but as time has past since these trips, I've begun to forget more of those smaller details. Those smaller details that you later realize are what make each place you visit so unique.

I've purchased multiple journals and carried them everywhere with me on trips, but then I would be on my way home and realize that I barely wrote anything down. It became daunting to journal everything I was experiencing and simultaneously try to be in the moment wherever I was. I would either forget to write or was too tired by the end of the day to journal. I needed something more straightforward to remind me to stop and remember the smaller moments, but also would leave me space if I wanted to write about more. Thus, the Wayward Workbook was born.

The Wayward Workbook is essential for planning, preparing, and reflecting on your travels. From a section to budget out how much your trip will cost, a checklist to help you ensure that you pack everything you need; to prompting you to write about the food you ate, the people you met, reflect back on how your trip went, and so much more.

My hope is that this workbook helps you have a smoother planning process and inspires you to get more out of every adventure you take. Wherever you may go, may it hold and cherish all those moments, beautiful and messy, that the world overwhelms us with.

I hope it inspires you to just go.


To get your own Wayward Workbook, visit the Shop link.

 

Why you MUST go to Canada in 2017

No, it's not because of the election results (but it kind of is (kidding) ((not really))).

You MUST go because the admission to all national parks in Canada is FREE in 2017!

Order a Discovery Pass here for free admission to Canada's National Parks, Historic Sites, and Marine Conservation Areas.

This is the perfect opportunity to round up the kids and take the first (or second, third, fourth) big family vacation, take a girls/guys trip road tripping from one park to the next, or grab your sweetheart and sleep under the northern stars.

If you need any convincing, look at the picture below in Banff National Park (Canada's first National Park) of Moraine Lake. You need to see this color blue in person; everyone needs to see this in person.

You only need one pass per group, which makes it that much more convenient to get some friends together and head to Canada, eh!

 Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park, British Columbia

Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park, British Columbia

Music for the Wandering Soul

Music can be the perfect complement to any adventure. Whether you’re driving through the mountains of Colorado, walking in the countryside of Ireland, or flying over open water for hours, the playlists you bring with you can set the vibe of the trip. To help you find just the right music to enhance your next adventure, I’m going to be sharing playlists I’ve put together on Spotify. Take these playlists with you wherever you may go and let yourself get lost in the music and on the land.

Hello Adventure.

This first playlist, Hello Adventure, is meant to feed your wandering soul. For the nomads, the dreamers, the ones that appreciate the smaller details in the world. Take this playlist with you as you gasp at the landscape of Iceland, as you gaze at each mountain top in Colorado and wonder whose feet have touched that land, as you stroll through the pines and moss of Oregon waiting to see fairies peek out from behind the ferns. This playlist is for you and your heart. 

Hello Adventure.jpg

10 Music Festivals for an Epic 2017

I don't know about you, but I've been trying to distract myself from the fact that it's winter by daydreaming and researching all the concerts coming up this summer. Few things are better in this life than a cold beer in hand, a light sundress, and letting yourself dance into a warm summer night to some great live music. You know what's even better? Doing that for three or four nights in a row at a festival. It seems that every year there are more music festivals popping up (not a bad thing!), but how do you decide which ones to attend? Here are a few coming up in 2017 that have lineups worth traveling for!

1. SXSW

March 13-19 Austin, TX

You know those people that always claim to have known the artist before they were famous? Yeah, they're annoying, but they also probably go to SXSW to make these claims. If you're looking for some new artists, this is the mecca. From folk to death metal, you're bound to find some new tunes to take home. Not only do you get new music here, but the chance to see inspiring independent films (this starts on March 10). So you can claim you saw the movie before it was in theaters, too. Lastly, it's in Austin, TX, which you need to visit anyways if you haven't already.

https://www.sxsw.com/festivals/music/

soundopinions.org

2. Coachella

April 14-16 & April 21-23 Indio, CA

Beyoncé.

https://www.coachella.com/

coachella.com

3. Rock on the Range

May 19-21 Columbus, OH

The lineup for Rock on the Range is pretty, well, rocking this year. Metallica, Korn, The Offspring, Taking Back Sunday, Chevelle to name a few.

http://rockontherange.com/lineup.html

babymetal.net

4. Bunbury Music Festival

June 2-4 Cincinnati, OH

I can't make this list and not represent my hometown! This will be Bunbury's 5th year and it has been an exciting event every year since it's infancy for Cincinnati. If you're looking for a music festival with a variety of artists but aren't too fond of the camping portion, I recommend giving Bunbury a run. You will definitely get the music festival vibe, great artists, but will be within walking distance from downtown Cincinnati and hotels.

http://www.bunburyfestival.com/

journal-news.com

5. Bonnaroo Music + Arts Festival

June 8-11 Manchester, TN

Bonna-who? BONNAROOOOOO! Unlike with Bunbury, if you are looking for the camping-not showering-dirty hippie kind of festival, Bonnaroo is the winner. Offering a range of music to enjoy from famous names like U2 and The Weekend to up-and-coming artists, you will never go without a time of day without live music. If you need to give your ears a break, roam the grounds (barefoot, because dirty hippie) and take in all the art or check out a comedy show. 

https://www.bonnaroo.com/

consequenceofsound.net David Brendan Hall

6. Firefly Music Festival

June 15-18 Dover, DE

Have plans over Bonnaroo weekend? You're in luck! Firefly follows right behind. A slightly similar lineup to Bonnaroo and camping so you can still be a dirty hippie! Want to be a little less dirty? They offer glamping options, as well.

https://fireflyfestival.com/

hellogiggles.com

7. Electric Forest

June 22-25 & June 29-July 2 Rothbury, MI

This is where you come to get weird. And inspired. But mostly weird. The Forest is a world unlike any other, and one you just need to experience for yourself.

https://www.electricforestfestival.com/

8. Lockn'

August 24-27 Arrington, VA

Looking for a festival with some music that will just get your feet moving and make you feel good? Hello, Lockn'. Celebrating 5 years in 2017, it's a festival that you should add to your list for the artists and focus they put on local vendors. Also, it's not too far from Washington, DC and there's plenty going on there these days.

http://www.locknfestival.com/

9. Lollapalooza Berlin

September 9-10 Berlin, Germany

Yes, I know there is a Lollapalooza in Chicago (it's August 3-6 so you could go to that one too), but hear me out on why Berlin. First, because why wouldn't you want to go to Berlin, Germany? Second, a stellar lineup. Third, the following weekend (September 16) is the start of Oktoberfest in Munich. So here's what you need to do, go to Lollapalooza in Berlin, spend the week of September 10th wandering around Europe by train, cap it off in some lederhosen at Oktoberfest. You're welcome.

https://www.lollapaloozade.com/en/

http://www.oktoberfest.de/en/

festicket.com

10. Austin City Limits

October 6-8 & October 13-15 Austin, TX

We started in Austin, it only feels right to end in Austin. So the lineup isn't out yet for 2017, but if you have any doubts, look at past lineups and any hesitation about adding ACL to your calendar should subside. Go one weekend or go both; either way, just go.

https://www.aclfestival.com/

5 Ways to Find the Cheapest Flights

Okay, Okay, I know this is the typical travel blog post but don't roll your eyes just yet. Everything I'm going to list are the steps I take to find the cheapest flights possible. Here's the deal: sometimes they work great and other times not as great as I would hope, but they are all worth your time and effort to save a significant amount of money on your next flight.

1. BE FLEXIBLE. 

This will always be my number one piece of advice for anything travel related that you're trying to save a buck or two on. When booking a flight, be flexible on the days you travel. This can mean the difference of $400 from flying out on a Monday versus a Tuesday. Be flexible on your times as well. The pickier you are about the time you arrive or depart could mean a high cost at the end of booking. Be willing to take the red eye flights. Also, consider all airports around you within a 2 hour driving distance. Major airports tend to have higher ticket costs compared to smaller, regional airports.

2. SET ASIDE TIME TO RESEARCH

If you really want to find the cheapest flight out there for your destination, you may have to do some more work than just a single engine search. Spend some time browsing multiple travel based search engines to compare prices. Two of these I'm constantly scouring are www.google.com/flights and www.momondo.com (I tend to favor this one more since it pulls in discount airlines). Check these search engines in addition to multiple air carrier sites on different days throughout the week. Flight prices change throughout the week and tend to run the cheapest on Tuesdays.

3. SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTERS

I'm sure you're probably thinking of skipping this step to avoid all the spam. Trust me, I feel you, and avoided doing this for awhile before finally caving. Because I caved, I was able to snag a $198 round trip flight from NJ to Iceland. I wouldn't recommend signing up for every notification out there to avoid a flooded inbox, but pick a few airlines that you tend to fly the most with and sign up to receive email notifications. You check your email everyday, I'm sure, but probably not airline websites, so it's a good way to stay informed of any special deals without spending the time going to each site. I receive notifications from WOW Airlines, Frontier, Allegiant, Emerites, and Airfare Watchdog. Obviously, you can opt out of these emails at any time, so if you know you'll be flying a particular airline, sign up while you search for tickets and then opt out once you return from your trip. There's also an app for that (of course), it's called Hitlist

4. TRAVEL IN THE OFF SEASON

Traveling in the off season has many benefits, including cheaper flights. The "off season" refers to the time that the destination experiences less tourist traffic due to it not being the ideal time to travel there, mainly because of climate conditions. Along with cheaper airfare, the location will be less crowded with tourists, will have cheaper services (car rentals, tours, accommodations), and will offer a view of the destination that not as many people experience. The off season varies depending on the location.

5. REFRESH YOUR COOKIES

The computer kind...and the chocolate chip kind, while you're at it. Cookies save your search information and websites use those cookies to determine how many people and who is viewing what information. Basically, if you continuously view the same flight information, the price will potentially increase the more you view it. It's basically a way that company websites take advantage of the demand.

I'd love to hear if you utilize any of these tips and how it works out for you!

Happy searching and happy flying!

 

 

You can't take it with you.

The joys of packing for a trip, especially a flight.

"How much liquid can I have?"

"Do you think they'll take away my tweezers?"

"Wait, I can pack a lighter, but I have to portion out my shampoo into smaller bottles?"

"My bag has to weigh approximately 24.26 pounds so I can account for the potential .74 pounds of dirt I may accumulate on the way home."

The packing process can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be if you do a little work before you start throwing all of your "what if's" into a bag. Start with making a list and breaking it up into different sections. I usually do a Clothes, Bath, Necessities/Important, and Misc. I take a day or two to complete the list since I tend to add to it as things come to mind. As I pack, I cross off each item once it's in my bag.

Tut, tut, it looks like rain.

If you can, pack at the latest possible time. I say this for the purpose of weather. Weather forecasts can be so unpredictable. Just because when you looked 4 days it showed sunshine all week, doesn't mean that's still the case. Check the forecast, like really check the forecast, not just a glance on your iPhone, hours before you leave for the airport so you ensure you have the best selection of clothing options.

Roll, Fold, Shove.

This is a trick I wish I would have learned years ago. There are certain clothing items you roll, others you fold, and a few you shove…or tuck for the neat freaks out there.

 

Roll:

Tank tops

Spandex/yoga pants

Athletic shorts

T-shirts

Light long sleeved shirts

Skirts

Dresses*

Fold:

Jeans

Shorts

Bulky sweaters

Jackets

Shove:

Socks

Bras

Underwear

Hats/gloves

Weight of the world

Every airline has different requirements about what kind of bags you can carry-on, how many bags you can carry-on, and the weight of your bags. It is IMPERATIVE that you know this information before you book your flight and before you show up at the airport. Trust me, you do not want to be the person at the check-in counter with their underwear all over the floor because your bag was .25 kilograms over the required weight and now you're trying to figure out how much 3 pairs of underwear and a toothbrush weight together to make up the difference. Been there.

Know these requirements and know them well.

Weigh your bags before you leave for the airport.

Double-check the size of allowed carry-ons.

These things really do matter and they really do check.

The last thing you want is to be the person holding up the line at the check-in counter because you didn't do your homework beforehand. Airports have this portal that everyone walks through as soon as they enter that sucks all patience out of them.

Speaking of no patience…

Security.

Going through airport security can be frustrating, intimidating, stressful, and confusing. Liquids out or liquids in? Shoes off or shoes on? It also doesn't help that the more you travel the more you will notice that every airport has different rules and processes for their security line. Fly out of one airport and they want you to basically strip down to nothing. Fly out of the next and you don't have to remove a single thing. The best thing you can do with this situation is, again, just be prepared and observant. At least know that you are going to have to remove any jewelry/hats/sunglasses. In terms of removing shoes, or taking liquids out of your bag it seems that every other airport makes different calls on this. Observe what those ahead of you are doing and follow suit. Pay attention to the TSA agents too. Are they asking people to take their shoes off? Remove laptops? Remove liquids? Also, be smart when packing your carry-on and don't pack the obvious no-no items.

Stay tuned for more posts about packing recommendations!