Iceland Packing List: Summer

We just got back from Iceland not that long ago and absolutely loved it!  With Iceland being a hot destination right now we wanted to share with you a summertime Iceland packing list, along with some tips.  In this post we broke down the packing list into four categories: clothing, outwear, footwear, and other gear to make things easier.  The items we mention are things you’ll specifically want to bring to Iceland.  We’re not touching on the basics that you pack for every trip, so make sure to remember those as well!

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Belize: Travel Guide

I recently got back from an 11 day trip to Belize and had an amazing time!   I actually traveled solo on this trip with the tour company, EF College Break.  I’ve gone on a few trips before with this company, but Rachel has always gone with me.  EF College Break is for people ages 18-28, so unfortunately I only have a year left to travel with this company.  There were 42 others on this trip with me, along with a tour director.  I met a lot of new people and made some awesome new friends!  I highly suggest EF College Break if you want to travel, but don’t want to plan everything.  They literally take care of it all for you, which makes things much less stressful.

I thought it would be fun to share with you my travel experience in Belize.  To make things easier, I’m breaking things down into the places I went to.  For each place, I’ll share the highlights of the things I did there.  At the end of this post I’ll also be sharing with you tips, tricks, and hints for Belize that I learned prior to going there and while I was there.  Let’s get into it!

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Europe 2016 Part 2: Edinburgh

Sorry we didn’t get this post up sooner like we had planned!  With the end of summer, things got pretty busy for us.  Better late than never though!  Now let’s move on to Edinburgh!

Here are our favorite things that we did in Edinburgh that we would recommend:

  • Afternoon Tea: In Edinburgh there are several options to go to for afternoon tea.  It’s definitely a fun experience to get dressed up and enjoy some tea and yummy pastries.  We looked at options online before our trip and made our reservation in advance.
  • Self-guided Harry Potter tour:  If you are a Harry Potter fan, there are several “Harry Potter” locations to go to in Edinburgh.  J. K. Rowling wrote the first few books in Edinburgh and got her inspiration  some places and characters from this city.  We recommend planning your tour beforehand so you know exactly where you’re going and don’t miss any of the places.
  • Edinburgh Castle: This is definitely one of the must see attractions that Edinburgh is known for.  There’s a lot of history to be seen here.  Plus, you get some great views of the city without much of a hike.
  • Underground haunted tour:  Edinburgh is also known to haunted and there are several options for different ghost/underground/haunted tours that range in their level of scariness.  We went on one during the day since Rachel gets scared easily.  Our tour was of the underground tunnels and even though it was during the day, it was still a bit scary.  You also learn some of the city’s history on these tours as well.

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Our tips and tricks:

  • Stay in a bed and breakfast: We decided to stay in a bed and breakfast while here because we thought it would be fun.  We loved our time at the bed and breakfast we stayed at! The owners were very helpful and friendly. They can help you with what to do, reservations, taxis, etc.  It was also nice staying in a bed and breakfast because you get a big breakfast every day that is included and we also felt very safe here.
  • Download the Transport for Edinburgh app:This app allows you to figure out busing times, routes, and bus numbers.  Buses are the main way to get around in Edinburgh as far as transportation goes.  The busing system with this app was easy to figure out and use.
  • Be prepared for the weather:  Definitely have an umbrella with you when you’re out and about because even if there isn’t a chance of rain, it can potentially rain.  We also suggest to think about layers when packing for Edinburgh.  The weather is on the cooler side in the summer and can throughout the day.

 

We absolutely loved Edinburgh and wish we would have had more time there!  It’s such a beautiful city with plenty to do.  We would definitely love to go back if we ever have the chance!

-Michelle & Rachel

Spring Break Essentials: Las Vegas

 

It’s that time of year where everyone is going on spring break trips!  The spring break essentials that you’ll need will vary depending on where you’re traveling to. This year for spring break I am going to Las Vegas with both of my sisters! Packing for this spring break trip is completely different than my spring break last year when I went to Myrtle Beach. Here are my top spring break essentials for this trip!

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Comfy Heels/Wedges

If you’re 21 and going to Vegas, you’re probably planning on going out to either a bar or a club. You’ll want to make sure to pack a comfy pair of heels or wedges, especially if you plan on going dancing. Nothing is worse than having to cut a night short because your feet hurt too bad to continue on. Even if you’re just going to bar you still want to have comfy footwear because there is a lot of walking in Vegas. If  you get a taxi to a hotel where the bar or club is, the bar/club could be on the other side and might still be a far walk. I decided to pack a pair of wedges that I have had for a couple of years and plan on wearing these the night we go to a club. I decided on these because I know I can last longer in wedges and I have worn them so many times that I know they are comfortable. Also don’t forget comfy shoes for walking around during the day!

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Going Out Dress

You’ll want to make sure you are prepared with cute going out outfits to wear at night. There is so much to do whether it’s going out to dinner, seeing a show, going to a club, etc. It’s good to be prepared with a going out dress no matter what you are doing. This is the dress that I plan on wearing to the club, but I also have dresses packed for the other nights we are going to be there.

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Swimsuit

A lot of the hotels on the strip have very nice pools. You’ll want to make sure that you have a swimsuit packed so that you can spend some of your time laying by the pool. I know I’m excited for the pool at our hotel because it has a lazy river where I can lay in and relax.

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Sunglasses

Whether you’re laying out at the pool or walking around outside on the strip, sunglasses are a necessity.  This is also an item that is easily forgotten.  Nothing is worse than getting to your destination and realizing you forgot your sunglasses.

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Crossbody Bag

A crossbody bag will definitely come in handy while in Las Vegas. There are so many things to do and see that  you will want to keep your hands free. They are also nice for going out so that you don’t have to worry about holding on to a bag the whole night!

Obviously there are plenty of other essentials you’ll need to pack for your spring break trip.  These are just a few of my top essentials that would be good to pack specifically when going to Vegas.  Where are you heading for spring break and what are your essentials?

-Rachel

St. Lucia Style

As some of you may already know, we were in St. Lucia last week for a sister vacation!  We went on vacation to celebrate Michelle’s 25th and golden birthday.  St. Lucia is located in the Eastern Caribbean region, relatively close to South America.  While on the island we stayed at the Coconut Bay Resort & Spa, which is located less than 5 minutes from the airport. We loved the beautiful ocean and warm weather!  Now here’s a look at the outfits we wore while we were in St. Lucia.

Day 1

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| Lilly for Target Jumpsuit | Jack Rogers Sandals | J. Crew Bracelet |

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| Tobi dress | Target sandals |

Day Two

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| Lilly for Target Dress | J. Crew Bracelet | Dillard (Not sure the exact brand) Wedges |

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| Dry Goods dress | Ivy & Leo wedges | Charming Charlie earrings & bracelet | Francesca’s bracelet |

Day 3

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| Lilly Pulitzer Dress | Tory Burch Bracelet | Jack Rogers Sandals |

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| Tobi crop top | Red Dress Boutique skirt | Ivy & Leo wedges | Red Dress Boutique necklace |

Day Four

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| Lulu’s Crop Top & Skirt | Tory Burch Bracelet | Dillard’s Wedges |

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| Dry Goods romper | Target sandals | Francesca’s earrings |

One of our favorite things that we did while on vacation was zip lining in the rain forest!  It was so much fun and such a great experience. You can watch a video of our zip lining adventure below.

Have you done any traveling this summer or have any summer travel plans?  We would love to know where you’ve gone to or where you’ll be going to.  Let us know in the comments below.

-Michelle & Rachel

Packing Fashionably & Efficiently For A Trip Abroad!

Coming up I have a 15 day study aboard trip where I will be going to Spain and France. One of the biggest stresses of going abroad can be packing for your trip.  However, this is my 6th time going abroad so I have picked up some tips & tricks to make it as easy as possible!

Baggage

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Since I am only going to be going for 15 days, I am bringing a large suitcase to check, my Vera Bradley Weekender for my carry-on, and my Longchamp bag for my personal item to keep under the seat ahead of me. Depending on how long you are going, you might be able to get by with a little less or you might have to bring another suitcase. I definitely could get by with bringing a smaller suitcase to check.  However, I want to make sure I have room to buy things while I am abroad.

When it comes to purchasing a suitcase, I encourage you to buy one in person so you can “test it out” and see if you like it. When buying a suitcase, make sure you have an idea of the size you are looking for. This is especially important if you are buying a carry-on suitcase since there are size restrictions.  I got mine at TJ Maxx and it’s a Swiss Gear suitcase. TJ Maxx is a great place to get a suitcase because they have some great brands at a discounted price. I don’t think it’s worth it to get expensive suitcases when it comes to checked bags since sometimes they can get beat up when getting loaded/unloaded.

When it comes to what style of bag you get, it’s up to you! I like the fabric suitcases over hard cases because I feel like I can’t fit as much into the hard cases. I also prefer the four wheel suitcases. I think it makes it easier to get around the airport with them. Make sure when you are looking at suitcases to check out the wheel and see if they all roll properly.

Important Must Haves

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When you decide to go abroad make sure the first thing you do is GET A PASSPORT! If you already have a passport make sure you check the expiration date to see if it will be good throughout your trip. While abroad you will usually have your passport on you at all times. Because of this, I like to have a cute passport holder. I use to have a cheap one from Target but just upgraded to a Kate Spade one thanks to my mom! You don’t have to get a passport holder. I just think it makes it easier to keep track of your passport by adding some color to it.

Another important thing to know when going abroad is what type of currency do they use. Since I am going to Spain and France I had to get Euros to bring along. I suggest getting some before you leave at a bank.  However you can also exchange money to the correct currency when you get there. Make sure to call your debit/credit card company before leaving and let them know how long you will be gone, along with what countries you are planning on going to. If you don’t do this the debit/credit card company might think that your card is stolen and shut off your card making it so you can’t use it. It is also suggested to bring a copy of your passport with you in case you lose yours to help with the process of getting a new one abroad. I also think it doesn’t hurt to leave one back home with someone as well. I also like to bring with me a copy of my itinerary if you have one, along with all of the hotels you are staying at  with phone numbers and addresses.

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Myrtle Beach: Spring Break Fun + Haul

As some of you may know last week was spring break for me! This year I went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with one of my college friends. We had a great time and overall some pretty wonderful weather.

Day 1

Since we got into Myrtle Beach after 11:00 at night I am going to start with our first full day. Our first day was the only day that we had bad weather. It rained on and off for most of the day so we decided to start things off by doing some shopping and going to a movie. We normally wouldn’t have gone to a movie, but with the bad weather and the new Cinderella movie that just came out we couldn’t resist going! After we went to the movie, we went to the outlet mall that was right by us and went to Kate Spade. They had so many cute items and everything was 50% off plus another 15% off because we had our student ids with us. We couldn’t stay their long since we were going to a show soon and had to go back and change.

That evening we went to a show called Hot Jersey Nights, which was fun and the perfect thing to do on a rainy evening.

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Following that we went to Broadway at the Beach to eat at Senor Frogs where we could watch and cheer on our men’s basketball team as they played for the big 12 championship. We ended the night at a piano bar called Crocodile Rocks. Neither of us had been to a piano bar before, but we were both glad we ended up going here. It was a lot of fun and very entertaining!

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Day 2

We started the day off with going to breakfast at a cute little place called Windy Hill Breakfast & Lunch. It’s one my favorite places to get breakfast while in Myrtle Beach. After that we went back to the outlet mall and did some shopping at J Crew. They had 50% off the entire store all weekend long and I couldn’t resist getting some new items for spring. After we were all done shopping there we went and laid out at the pool and ocean. It was such a perfect day and we were loving the warm weather after a longer winter. Of course we couldn’t pass up taking some photos while on our walk on the beach!

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Once it started getting later in the afternoon, we decided it was time to head in and get ready for supper. Emily and I always love going to Japanese Steak Houses to eat together so we thought we might as well go to one while we were here. We went to Nakato Japanese Steakhouse and it is definitely the best I have ever been to. When you order hibachi you get soup, salad, shrimp, rice, noodles, vegetables, and of course whatever meat you ordered. It was so much food and it was all delicious! We definitely had enough food to take home for a whole other meal.

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We were so full after eating so we went back to our place for a bit to relax before heading out again. Later that night we went and explored the marina right by us and did some exploring of some local neighborhoods. We enjoyed looking around and seeing all the beautiful houses.

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Day 3

We started off our day by going to Market Common outdoor shopping center. It’s a little further away, but it’s always worth the drive. We went into a few boutique type places while we were there and ended up buying things from Current XXVII and Ivy & Leo. On our way back we stopped at the Myrtle Beach Skywheel. This was a really unique place to go and see with the Ferris wheel, pier, and little shops. We thought about going on the Ferris wheel but both decided it was better to look at than actually go on it.

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After returning back to our place, we decided it was time to head to the pool/beach where we stayed for the rest of the afternoon. Our evening was more laid back and uneventful, which was kind of nice. We went to Steak N’ Shake for supper since we don’t have one close to us and we both love eating there. Then we went to Barefoot Landing, which was basically across the street from us to check out some of the shops they had there. We didn’t really end up getting much but it was still a good time to look around and see what they all had. We stayed in for the rest of the night after that and just drank some wine and hung out.

Day 4

Our final day was spent exactly how it should be-at the beach and pool!  We were out there most of the morning and all afternoon. We wanted to stock up on all the sun possible before heading back to the Midwest. Even though we both wore sunscreen and reapplied we got a little sunburnt.  It was definitely worth it to be able to spend our last day outside by the water though.

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Once we finally headed back inside, we got ready for supper where we went to an amazing Italian restaurant called Villa Tuscanna. It’s one of the best Italian restaurants I have been to and all the workers were so nice. I would highly recommend if you are ever in the area to stop by.

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Afterward we ended up going out and having green beer since it was St. Patrick’s day and this was our first time being able to have it now that we’re 21.   We didn’t stay out too long with having to get up early and still having to get everything packed up and ready to leave.

I ended up getting a lot of great things while on spring break and you can watch the video below to see what I all got!

-Rachel