Travel Kit

Travel

There is nothing more annoying than packing for a trip. Although the thought of going away to a tropical island, sandy desert, or winter wonderland sounds incredible.  Usually packing is way less fun. Honestly, I’m either working or getting other matters in hand until the very last minute that I leave for my getaway. Not to mention having to make other arrangements for your house, animals and children. So who has time to pack, let alone get their toilettes in order, especially if your trip is last minute.

I always kind of had a travel kit, but never fully committed to it, until now. I really think this is the way to go even if you only travel a few times a year. Not only is it convenient but I usually end up forgetting at least one item or not having enough room for bigger toiletry items. Have I convinced you to make one yet? Plus it’s a great gift idea.

I found a great example of a travel kit on Redbook Magazine, but unfortunately I can’t find the article online. The great thing about creating your own travel kit is making it personal to you. You can add what your essentials would be for a weekend getaway or an extended stay. Check out my kit below and create your own!

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Bag:

The first item I purchased for my bag was the bag itself. I bought this one from Ulta but there are other great opinions out there as well. I suggest opting for a clear bag though, since it’s easy to see what you have quickly.

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Basics Clear Clutch by Tartan + Twine, $12.00

Inside the bag: 

I purchased most of my items on Pharmapacks but I did get some of my travel size items  from CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, Target and the dollar store. All my items are 3oz or under, perfect for TSA and to put in your carryon bag! When picking out items, stick to products that you are familiar with. Your trip is not a time to try out a new products. Below I broke the items into categories to make it easier. I added a lot of items, but you can add or subtract as many as you’d like.

Shampoo & Conditioner:

I picked out an OGX shampoo & conditioner simply because I like the companies products and I thought they were a little bigger than other shampoos but would still fit in my bag.

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OGX Thick & Full + Biotin & Collagen Shampoo  & Conditioner; 3 oz each, $2.66 each

Hair products:

I knew I had to get a good dry shampoo & hairspray for my travel kit, both are a must in my opinion. When I’m on vacation the last thing I want to do is take the time to wash my hair multiply time. I ordered Psssssst Instant Dry Shampoo but there are plenty of other great dry shampoo travel sizes out there like Dove, Batiste, and Not Your Mothers. For my hairspray I decided on a TRESemme hairspray because I’m either curling my hair for dinner or lightly scrunching it for the beach and I know this hairspray will hold it all day.

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Psssssst Instant Dry Shampoo; 3 oz, $2.51. TRESemme Tres Two Hair Spray Aerosol; 1.5oz, $1.49

Hair Accessories:

I always need a hair tie or my hair ties always breaks, so I decided to pack some in my travel kit. Throwing in 5 hair ties won’t take up any room, plus you know you’ll need one when you decide to take a dip in the pool.  I picked out these Scunci hair hair ties since they have a no damage elastic, are a perfect width and are cheap. I also added some bobby pins to my kit. This is another small item that you will need at some point. Think fancy dinners.

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Scunci No Damage Hair Elastics; 28 count, 96 cents. Goody Small Bobby Pins; 60 count, 77 cents

Body products:

I never want to rely on a hotel to have decent soaps and body products. I got this shower gel for FREE from Bath & Body Works. I always get free coupons from them and I always cash them in. No purchase necessary. This time I got a French Lavender & Honey scent and it smells amazing. I also packed in my travel kit a shaving cream (for some reason I could only find men’s travel sizes) and a mini razor (although I think you can easily fit a regular size razor). I also added in a small deodorant, as well. I like the smell of this one, it’s very fresh and clean.

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French Lavender & Honey Body Wash; 3oz, $5. Barbasol Orginal Shaving Cream; 2.25oz, $1.23. Gillette Venus Snap with Embrace Cosmo Pink; 1 count, $8.49.  Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant Deodorant; .50oz, $1.01.

Oral Hygienes:

Naturally you’re going to pack a toothbrush & toothpaste. I like to have a separate toothbrush for traveling because usually I forget to pack a toothpaste period. I picked up this cute toothbrush at the dollar store. I think it might be a kids one but it works all the same. If you want to get an adult toothbrush make sure to get a mini one because it might not fit in your kit. I also recommend getting a toothbrush cover. They are super cheap and make your toothbrush more sanitary. For toothpaste I really like the Crest 3D White so I picked up one of these in a travel size for my kit. I know mouthwash and floss might seem like an extra but I feel like sometimes you just need it or maybe you are obsessive with your teeth like I am. I bought a large pack of floss sticks and just tossed some into the bottoms and picked out the same mouthwash I have at home in a travel size.

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Toothbrush (Similar), $1. Toothbrush Covers; 3 Pack, 75 Cents. Crest 3D White; 0.85oz, 97 cents. DenTek Triple Clean Floss; 150 Count, 3.24. Crest Mouthwash; 1.22oz, 64 Cents.

Skin Care:

I love a good face wash. I picked out CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser since I know it won’t be harsh on my face, especially if I get a sunburn. I also wanted a good moisturizer for my face since certain city waters can dry out your face. For moisturizer Aveeno daily moisturizing lotion is a product I know and love. I can use this on my face or body for any dry patches I may have. I also made sure to get a travel size makeup remover. I’ve been using Neutrogena makeup remover for years and I will never be able to use anything else. 

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CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser; 3 oz, $3.90. AVEENO Active Naturals Daily Moisturizing Lotion; 1 oz, $1. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes; 7 count, $1.47.

Lip Hydration & Sunscreen:

I feel like these items go together nicely. Especially if you are going somewhere where you’ll be out in the sun. There are a lot of lip products out there, although you can choose something light like a chapstick, I prefer something more heavy. I like Aquaphor healing product to really moisturize my lips or Glossier Balm Dotcom which does the same but is less oily.   Both of these products can be used anywhere on your body that you have dry skin. I also always suggest using a sunscreen, especially if you are as pale as I am. I bring a big sunscreen spray since I use a lot of it but it’s nice to have a travel size one, as well.  This Coppertone one is perfect since it’s waterproof too.  I try to get nothing less than a 50 SPF.

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Aquaphor Healing Ointment; 1.75oz, $4.99. Glossier Balm Dotcom; .5oz, $12, Coppertone Sunscreen Continuous Spray; 50 SPF, $2.70

Medicine:

I think it’s very important to have any over the counter medicine you would use at home in your travel kit.  I adde anything I might need such as Pepto, Advil, Benadryl and Bandaids. Pretty much anything that would be a big pain to run out for but you still might need. Luckily, all of these came in a travel size, except for the Benadryl which I had to brake up from a larger pack. I also keep one or two tampons in there just incase.

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Benadryl; 28 count, $6.95. Advil; 10 count, $2.35. Bandaid; 20 count, $2.82. Pepto-Bismol Tablets; 12 count, $1.93. Tampons; 18 count, $3.97

Extras: 

These are all extras but I really wanted to incorporate them, since I feel like I’ll need them while on vaca. Tide sticks are a lifesaver and should travel with you everywhere. I also added a perfume and hand lotion. Both of these products you can get as a free sample from Sephora. All you have to do is ask them for a free sample. (Unfortunately, the Elizabeth & James hand cream is no longer sold separately, but rather in a set.)

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Tide To Go Mini Instant Stain Remover Pen; 118 oz, 2.97. Ralph Lauren Romance Rollerball; 0.34oz, $26. Elizabeth & James Hand Cream;1.7 oz, $75 for set.

Last words:

I do have to say that travel size items are expensive, but once you get the initial product, you can always refill the bottle when you’re running low. The convenience of having a travel kit is worth it. Now make your own kit and see how great & easy it makes packing for your next vacation

San Francisco Giants Game

Travel

San Francisco is all about their baseball team, The Giants. Come to think of it San Francisco is really into all their sports teams. Living in the city, you get to see the hundreds of thousands of fans rooting for the Giants a few times a week for the entire season. Trust me, you know when the Giants are playing due to the crazy amount of fan gear displayed on thousands of people. It’s not a bad thing, you can feel the energy and it gets you hyped yourself.

That being said, if you’re ever in San Francisco or you happen to live here, I highly suggest attending a game. Even if you don’t like sports, it’s all about experiencing it. I, myself have only been to two Giants games. Ironically, two northeastern teams, the Mets and the Phillies. I saw the Mets last year around May and the Phillies I had seen recently. In no way do I consider myself a Giants expert but I do have some helpful tips, if you ever do want to attend a game here.

 

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The official website you can get your tickets from is HERE. Unless you are able to buy your tickets months in advance or you simple could careless about the price, I don’t recommend buying them off here…..Every time I look for tickets on this website, the descent priced tickets never let you purchase two seats together. You have an opinion to choose the “scattered” button, but if I am going to a game with someone, I would actually like to sit next to them.

That being said, I have purchased my tickets off a site called Vivid Seats. I like this website. It’s legit and you’re able to get tickets together at a reasonable price. Once you purchase your tickets, you’ll receive an email and you’ll have to print out your tickets. (Don’t worry if they are in a random persons name.)

 

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Both times I have gone to the Giants, I have sat in section 304. These seats are high up, but they are the best bang for your buck. Tickets range $20-35 and the seats have a great view of the bay. Also you’ll have no problems seeing the game. There are usually canoes in the water, along with boats and even swimmers in the bay waiting for a baseball to come their way.

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There are also a lot of giveaways at the games, so keep that in mind when buying tickets. I’d show up somewhat early if you want to get the free gift. For example, when my mom and I saw the Phillies play the Giants, they were giving away free hats.

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Let’s talk about what you should wear. The weather in San Francisco is unpredictable. It rarely changes from 55-75 degrees, despite it being in the 80’s the last few days. With all of that in play, I suggest layers. The wind is always a game changer. It could be 65 degrees and if there is no wind, it could feel like t-shirt weather. Then again it could be 80 degrees and windy and you would probably want a jacket. So I suggest a tee-shirt and a jacket, just to be safe. If you aren’t going to wear giants colors, I would say wear plain colors, unless of course you are rooting for the other team.

Getting there is easy, if you’re staying downtown or near any muni (public transportation) that hits the underground rail, including the N or T lines. These look like subways and will take you directly to the ball park for $2.25 a person.

The food in San Francisco is not like the food in other places. You could go to the mall’s food court and get a gourmet meal and a beer. So if you’re going to the Giants game, the food is going to probably be better than other stadiums. With that comes higher prices, just to keep in mind. Be prepared to pay $11.50 for a 8 oz beer. Let’s be honest though, It’s worth it for the picture.

 

Mets vs. Giants (2014)

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Phillies vs. Giants (2015)

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Now go check out a Giants game for yourself!

Dessert for Dinner

Travel

A few weeks ago I decided to explore a new spot in the city. If you aren’t familiar with San Francisco’s layout, it’s split up into different neighborhoods (kind of how New York is). After browsing Pinterest for SF’s top spots for about a half hour while enjoying my morning coffee, I decided on Ghirardelli Square. Yes, this chocolate company has its own little plaza in San Francisco. I myself did not know this was a real thing, but now I’m so glad I do. After I decided on my location, I got dressed, grabbed my bag and headed down on the bus to Ghirardelli Square, which is considered in the North Beach neighborhood. I have never been on this route or bus before, but thankfully I had my trusty app “Rover”, which is a lifesaver. If you have a location, but do not know how to get to it, you can put in the address and the app will tell you how to get there and what bus to take. I’m not sure if this app works for other cities, but if you are in SF, it’s a lifesaver!

Once I arrived, it became very hot (in the best way possible)! The bus drops you off in front of a gorgeous beach, seriously this beach is beautiful. Luckily for me there weren’t many people out. Before I even entered Ghirardelli Square, which was across the street, I did a quick walk on the beach. It was so nice to soak up the warm sun. (Side note, San Francisco is not always warm in the summer, most days it’s been in the 50’s, so any 70 degree weather, I’ll gladly take.)

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After about twenty minutes of walking on the beach, I decided it was time to check out Ghirardelli Square.

It was kind of intimidating entering the “square”. There are stairs that you can enter but you can’t really see how it’s set up until you get into the building. The whole thing is mostly outdoors and is three stories high. It’s confusing but I feel like it makes more sense once you’re in there. When I got in there was live music playing, while young families listened. There were many people sitting in the sunshine, looking delighted, and eatting their chocolates and ice creams. I decided to bypass the music for the time being and checked out the stores instead. There are two Ghirardelli stores in the square (that I saw) filled with delicious chocolates and both had an ice cream parlor inside. They also handed out free samples, so that was a bonus in my books. There is also a high-end restaurant, a diner, a coffee kiosk, and countless SF gift stores.

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When I finally figured out the lay of the land, I decided to get myself a dessert. After looking at the menu for a good 10 minutes, I decided on a caramel chocolate sundae. Although it was $10, I decided it was well worth it for a treat. It took less than five minutes for my mouth-watering dessert to come out. Once I picked it up, I decided to head back to the beach. I obviously couldn’t get enough of the view and the ice cream was the cherry on top, literally.

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The ice cream sundae was out of this world, but I would highly recommend splitting one if you can. I, myself could not finish it all. It was truly my dinner for the night. After my attempt, I decided to head back into the square and do a little touristy shopping. There are lots of different stores, ranging from wine, to kids stuff to gift shops. I stopped into this cute little store called Lulu’s. If you want really cute SF gifts, this is the place to go. A little over priced if you ask me, but the staff is friendly and like I said, the stuff is really cute. I ended up buying a SF skyline mug. I also checked out some of the other stores, but didn’t stay long in any. I decided it was time to head back to my apartment, so I hopped back on the bus and headed home. I probably would have stayed longer, but I was on a sugar high and it was getting late.

I am so happy that I finally checked out Ghirardelli Square! I am looking forward to going back when a friend is in town or honestly on the next sunny day.