The Chrysalis Cardi: My Ultimate Travel Essential (And How To Use It)

The Chrysalis Cardi: My Ultimate Travel Essential (And How To Use It)

  I’ve always been a notoriously horrible packer. I wait until the very last minute to decide what I should throw in a suitcase. I pack ridiculous items that I never use at home, but for some reason feel like I must bring along just in case of an emergency. (You know, the shoes/lotion/sunhat/other miscellaneous items I found tucked away in the back of the closet hiding beneath a blanket of dust.) And, without fail, half the things I end up toting around—or, let’s be honest, Dan ends up carrying—don’t get used at all. In recent years I’ve gotten a little bit better at packing. I won’t say I’m an expert, but I’ve written enough articles about it (and had practice traveling to 30-some odd countries) that I’m no longer completely embarrassed by my luggage. Without a doubt, one of the reasons I’ve been able to pack far less is by learning how to make the most of multi-purpose items. Why pack three dresses, a scarf and a cardigan when one classic piece can be worn all three ways? Enter: The Chrysalis Cardi I first stumbled upon Encircled, the company behind this versatile piece, around three years ago. I rushed ordered a Chrysalis Cardi so it would arrive before we headed off to Europe—and since then, it has been a constant travel essential for all our trips. From Sweden to France to Costa Rica to Hawaii, my Chrysalis Cardi has racked up quite a few miles—with much more to come in 2017 and beyond.   “Pack lighter. Do more with less.” Rockin’ my Chrysalis Cardi as a Cardigan in...
The Ultimate Him And Her Paris Packing List

The Ultimate Him And Her Paris Packing List

Paris is easily one of our favorite cities in the world. Our most recent visit to the magical City of Lights was when we were completely nomadic—and living entirely out of our backpacks. Paris was still just as magical as could be, but since we were pretty much coming from the Arctic, that meant we didn’t quite have all the right clothes and accessories we normally would have packed… That said, due to the popularity of our 50 Cool Things To Do In Paris article, we regularly receive quite a few Paris packing questions. So, here you have it: our ultimate Paris packing list for couples. If you’re wondering what to pack for a trip to Paris, then this post should do the trick. The Ultimate Him And Her Paris Packing List     Seasons   Plan according to the season you’ll be traveling in! You’ll be thankful you brought the right clothes. :-) Check out this awesome guide to Paris’ weather for more information! – End of March – June: Spring – 4 C to 20 C / 40 F to 68 F – End of June – September: Summer – 13 C to 24 C / 55 F to 75 F – End of September – December: Autumn – 5 C through 21 C / 70 F through 68 F – End of December – March: Winter – 1 C through 7 C / 34 F through 45 F     Clothes   Remember, simplicity is your friend! If you want to blend in, at least a little bit, avoid major tourist fashion mishaps and dress like a Parisian! We could...
The Ultimate Glamping Getaway In Maui

The Ultimate Glamping Getaway In Maui

Before we took off for Maui, we mentioned that we would be using the trip as an opportunity to finally give glamping a try. I’ve honestly never been a huge fan of traditional camping, but I love staying in unique, off-the-beaten track accommodation. If it’s surrounded by nature, than all the better. So we figured that glamping (glamorous camping) would be right up our alley. Luckily, we weren’t disappointed!     Glamping In Maui   For the first three nights of our stay in Maui, we chose to stay at the lovely Hawaiian Dream Temple, just outside of Upcountry, and nearby one of the coolest beach towns on the island: Paia.   The Hawaiian Dream Temple is a secluded, eco-friendly bamboo cottage, (designed in a similar fashion to a yurt.) Surrounded by lush jungle, the Dream Temple had everything we look for in accommodation: a fully equipped kitchen, comfortable living area, two serene bedrooms, numerous screen porches, a pool and a luxurious hot tub. We especially loved the open-air concept that allowed the fresh breeze to travel through the cottage, keeping us cool and relaxed.Additional amenities included a washer and dryer, wi-fi and outdoor grill.     What To Do   Besides relaxing in the Dream Temple or enjoying the hot tub, there’s plenty to see and discover in Upcountry, the region where the bamboo cottage is located. A few of our favorite activities include:   -Visiting Makawao     Makawao boasts a rich history of paniolos, or Hawaiian cowboys. In fact, the town even hosts an annual Makawao Rodeo as a testament to its traditional cattle-roping past. Today...
Where To Stay In Granada, Nicaragua: The Colonial Boutique Hotel Xalteva

Where To Stay In Granada, Nicaragua: The Colonial Boutique Hotel Xalteva

Granada, Nicaragua is such a charming colonial city that it only makes sense to stay in an equally quaint and romantic hotel. We ultimately chose the boutique colonial Hotel Xalteva, and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the experience.     If you’re looking for comfort, convenience, great service, and a boutique colonial hotel that cares about the local community, then you can’t go wrong with Hotel Xalteva. Read on for our full property review:   The Property   One of the highlights of any visit to Granada is the gorgeous Spanish colonial architecture that dots the city. Of course, what better way to enjoy the classic adobe buildings than by sleeping in one yourself! Hotel Xalteva is a boutique colonial style hotel featuring modern, fully-equipped condo-style units—a combination that is not easy to come by!     The gorgeous one and two-bedroom suites come complete with a comfortable sitting area, a well-equipped kitchen and spacious bedroom(s). The exquisite furniture and decor is all handmade from local artists. Our kitchen had every appliance and gadget we could have desired, though with all the fabulous restaurants in Granada, we found we didn’t take full advantage of it. There’s also all the extras like hot water, air conditioning and super fast wi-fi—three things you don’t always find in Central America.     The rooms on the second floor come complete with a private balcony looking out to the pool, while the rooms on the first floor have a private fountain and seated area in the back. Easily the first thing you’ll notice when entering Hotel Xalteva is the lovely pool...
Travel Websites We’re Loving: Feature On Project Expedition

Travel Websites We’re Loving: Feature On Project Expedition

We’ve now been living just outside Dominical, Costa Rica for about two and a half months. This time has been an interesting learning experience for us. While we LOVE Costa Rica and are still very serious about making it our home base for the next little while, Dominical itself…well, it’s just not the perfect match. Luckily we have about 13 weeks of travel coming up, and then we move into a new house outside San Isidro. We’re so excited about all of the fantastic adventures we have in store, as well as the opportunity to dive in to a new location in Costa Rica! But while Dominical might not be the perfect place for us due to a variety of reasons we’ll explore in another post, one of the things that has been great is its location. Dominical is just off the Coastal Highway and conveniently situated between San Jose and the Osa Peninsula. As such, we’ve had TONS of visitors pass through town, stay in our guest bedroom, and join us for dinner and drinks on the beach. We’ve been so inspired by all of the travelers and entrepreneurs we’ve met here. These encounters have certainly encouraged us with all of the side projects we’ve been investing heaps of time in.     One such pair of traveling entrepreneurs that we had the opportunity to meet—and would like to highlight today—are the founders of Project Expedition. We met Jeremy and Tim, two of the three innovators behind the project, when they were passing through Dominical for travel research purposes. We had the chance to hear about Project Expedition...
A Different Kind of Airport Hotel – Hotel La Rosa de America

A Different Kind of Airport Hotel – Hotel La Rosa de America

If you haven’t caught on by now, I’ll tell you again: we love Costa Rica. From the pristine coastline to the lush cloud forests, nature is what Costa Rica does best. So when we needed to pick a hotel close to the airport that had a true Costa Rican feel, Hotel La Rosa de America seemed like the perfect fit.     We’ve been through San Jose a few times now, and we knew we wanted a peaceful alternative to the busy, noisy hotels in the city. From the moment we stepped on the property of Hotel La Rosa de America, we felt relaxed and at home. Located just 15 minutes away from the San Jose International Airport, the airport hotel was the perfect place to kick off our shoes and rejuvenate after a long day of flying. The first thing that caught our eye was the well-groomed and lush greenery that covers the property. The owner admits to having a bit of a green thumb and even finds himself working in the garden from time to time. We were so inspired by the surroundings we ended up having a little yoga session on the lawn!     Not only are the details of the landscape exquisitely done, but the gorgeous artwork inside the rooms is equally tasteful. Better yet, each painting was crafted by talented local artists in the area!     The rooms at Hotel La Rosa de America are newly remodeled and all include air conditioning, hot water and even a tub on request! Rooms range from singles to quad, so if you’re a solo traveler or a...