Lifestyle, wedding series

Why Spending Money on Travel is Worth it: Honeymoon in Maui

It sounds a bit dramatic when I say our honeymoon in Maui changed my life. But I’m a Leo, & we are rather dramatic individuals, so I stand by this statement. Anytime I feel like I’m in a rut or need to make a change, I always know some form of traveling will be that cure. This past year has been one of the most trying years with the loss of my dad in the fall & planning a wedding in the middle of said grief & healing. But now that phase of my life is over [ the wedding planning part] , I’m looking ahead to a summer of continued healing & focusing on what I want my life to be moving forward. I strongly believe in the idea of immersing yourself into experiences to grow as individuals. When we simply remain in our bubble, thats when ignorance develops & the perception of believing our lives are only tied to what’s right outside our front door. We are so much more than that & a 10 day trip on island time showed me the type of person I want to strive to be which is more adventurous, tied to nature & one who continues to focus on the more simple aspects of life like experiences.

Focus on What Truly Matters

I’ve been following the minimalism lifestyle for around 5 years now. It’s been a slow journey & in no way am I a perfect minimalist [ i don’t think there ever is]. But I definitely strive to focus on the bigger pictures & refrain from putting my attention on frivolous material things. It’s not to say I don’t spend hours putting together outfits for my travels, but I also let go of the notion in thinking I constantly need new or better items to have a good time. I’ve learned through packing light, you can actually enjoy more of your surroundings & prioritize the connections & memories you make. While on our honeymoon, we did a lot of adventurous activities that lead to ruined clothing, muddy shoes & losing my $5 pair of sunglasses on the beach. I don’t focus on that because through those instances, we drove ATV’s up a mountain, we went 10,000 feet past the clouds on top of a mountain & star gazed. We snorkeled with motorized scooters. My husband jumped off rocks into the ocean, while I casually soaked under a few waterfalls. We hiked for miles, trudging through mud, rock & bamboo forests. We saw an array of sea life including two sea turtles while snorkeling. We also ate tons of different foods & visited local gems. It was truly an experience & memory I will hold onto forever.

Capture Those Moments & Stay Present

We took countless photos & videos during our travels, but we made sure to make the conscious effort to go off the grind for these 10 days. Not answering calls or texts [ unless they were true emergencies ] & staying off social media. It was truly refreshing. And I want to make the habit of doing this during our mundane days. Leaving your life a mystery is actually a powerful thing.

Reminiscing the Memories

I’m not the hugest fan of gifts or souvenirs. If I do bring something home from a trip, it usually holds some form of purpose or I know I will have it for a long time. One of the fun things we did was collect stickers during our trip. We plan to display said stickers as a collage & hang it up on the wall of our home. I love displaying photos or DIY projects like these because it showcases what we love to do as a couple – travel. I did find a few other souvenirs along the way including a Maui hook t-shirt [ I’m a sucker for a new graphic tee] & a sun hat [ which I plan to wear all summer long ].

I feel like this post is a little all over the place, but the bottom line is traveling to Maui reminded me of my love for travel. And I want to continue to make the effort to travel more often [ locally or across the world ]. There are so many times where a holiday comes up & we choose to do the same boring routine when we could be experiencing someplace new. For instance, I would love to visit Chicago during St. Patricks Day. Or going to Disney World or NYC around Christmas time. My side of the family is choosing to gift experiences over wrapped gifts under the tree this year. I think the pandemic taught us to enjoy the simple moments in life but it also ignited the urge to see more than what’s out your front door.

Where would you love to travel to next?

-B

Minimalism, Minimalism

How To Travel 10 Days in a Carry On Suitcase

I’ve made it a mission to put my minimalist lifestyle to the test when it comes to traveling. In the past, I’ve been known to overpack even on the shortest getaway. So, when I realized I would be traveling 10 days for my destination wedding AND 10 days for our honeymoon soon after, I figured this was the perfect time for such a challenge. Not to mention, we have to haul my wedding gown on the flight as well. By limiting myself to merely a carry on suitcase or small duffle bag, I learned it is possible to travel lightly & still have plenty. Here are a few things to consider when packing for your next adventure:

Check The Weather

One of the hugest culprits in packing heavy is preparing for all kinds of weather. Even on the most sunny vacations, I was known to still pack a rain jacket [ just in case]. Now, I try to trust my weather app & only pack according to the predicted weather. If an unexpected rain shower does occur, for instance – I can always purchase a jacket or umbrella at my destination. Naturally, I find warmer climates to be easier to pack for than colder destinations. So, when it came to preparing for our destination wedding in the South & our Maui honeymoon, I was lucky I didn’t need to pack any heavy boots or anything.

Plan Your Outfits / Activities

Although spontaneity is fun, I find when it comes to longer vacations / trips; having an itinerary of sorts is very helpful. Base your outfits & clothing to what you plan to do on your getaway. Our destination wedding for instance consisted of a lot of visiting & relaxing before the big day. I was smart in shipping a few items ahead of time like my rehearsal dinner dress, veil & the bridemaid’s morning of gifts. In all honesty, the goal was to be an outfit repeater that week. And since I was staying at a family home, I knew I could do laundry if need be. In terms of the honeymoon, I knew we were going to a luau, so I made sure to pack a tropical maxi dress. But for the most part, I knew Hawaii would consist of lots of bikinis & outdoor wear. Weeks before either of theses trips, I hung all the outfits up on my clothing rack. This allowed me to keep track of what I was bringing & prevent me from making any impulse purchases or overpack. I also kept in mind, I would probably do some shopping while we were in Maui anyway.

Wear the Bulkiest Items on the Airplane

This is my most favorite hack when it comes to packing light. My airplane attire always consists of leggings, a tank top or t-shirt, sneakers & a jacket or sweatshirt. Shoes & hoodies are two of the most bulky items to pack in the suitcase. Even though sandals can be easier to take on and off at TSA, I’m always grateful to have extra space for other necessities in my suitcase.

Packing Cubes vs. Rolling

I actually have never used packing cubes but have noticed from other people, they are VERY helpful in condensing space. I on the other hand, love rolling my clothing & or putting certain categories in zipblock bags. The way you organize & store your items in the suitcase makes all the difference. The reason I like the zipblock bag method is because I can release the air from the bag to make it very flat. I will admit this hack can seem rather wasteful so if you have any reusable methods [ besides packing cubes ] that do the same affect, let me know.

Travel Size Is Your Bestfriend

When it comes to makeup products or toiletries, having the smaller counterpart is the smartest move. Not to mention, TSA has certain regulations anyway. As a makeup lover, I try to only pack my smaller eyeshadow palettes during travels such as these. And in some cases, I will invest in travel size products like setting spray, shampoo, body / face wash & even mascara. Every space counts so you want to be efficient. Even when choosing purses for vacations, I lean towards small cross body styles or even clutches.

When in Doubt, Leave It At Home

I mentioned this in my older packing guide, which you can read here. But if you are questioning any item too hard, chances are you don’t need it. Really ask yourself why you want to bring / wear something before packing it. I can’t tell you how many times I would bring more clothing than necessary & only wear a quarter of the items. And if you DO end up needing something or forgetting something, you can always purchase it at your destination.

Choose Clothing Pieces That Are Versatile

If you already have a capsule wardrobe like me, you are already there in having clothing pieces that pair in multiple ways. For example, I packed a light grey t-shirt that I could wear with black shorts, white shorts, denim shorts or even jeans. Always start with your basics & work from there. Any additional or unique items can be added later. When it came to the honeymoon, I knew I wanted a few unique & tropical looking maxi dresses for dinners or the luau. I didn’t go overboard with this idea though & only packed two – a black & purple flower maxi dress I’ve had for a few years & a white floral maxi dress I found on Amazon.

Check Out This Capsule Wardrobe Challenge: I Tried Project 333 & This Is How It Went

Conclusion:

When seeing the world, you don’t want to feel weighed down by stuff. Although it can feel rather challenging at first, overtime it will become second nature. You’ll enjoy returning home to less laundry to do & you’ll quickly realize you don’t need much to enjoy yourselves. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to the point all you need is a backpack.

Where are you traveling to next?

Up for an even bigger challenge? watch me pack all of these items in a backpack in this IG REEL

-B

Minimalism, Minimalism

Minimalist Travel Guide To Packing Light

In the past, whenever I would go on a week long or even a weekend getaway, I thought I had to pack my entire life away. To say I was an over packer is quite accurate. With the help of minimalism & living with less, I’ve managed to learn how to bring as little as possible. I posted on my Instagram stories of my small Hershel backpack & stated I fit everything I could need for a weekend getaway to the beach. I received a lot of questions & requests to let you all in on some of my tips & tricks on packing lighter. So let’s get into it…

PLAN OUT YOUR STAY

First & foremost, I love to make an itinerary of some sorts whenever I am preparing for any type of vacation or getaway. I figure out how long I’m staying, what the weather will be like & whether we are driving or flying there. All of these factors determine how I pack. For a beach weekend for instance, we are lucky enough to have a family beach house that has a lot of amenities already there. This in itself cuts down on the amount of items we bring. But in general, mapping out a game plan such as this helps you organize what you need & what you can leave behind.

PUT TOGETHER OUTFITS

I love to plan out the types of outfits I can possibly wear ahead of time. I’ve learned from capsule wardrobes that you can create a number of outfits with fewer clothing pieces. Embrace being an outfit repeater & cut down the amount of items you will be bringing. Over the years, I’ve learned when I packed more than I needed, I would usually never even touch half of what I brought. Being realistic with yourself is the mindset you need when wanting to be a light packer. Not to mention you’ll cut down on the amount of laundry you’ll be doing when you return.

IF YOU CAN LEAVE IT AT HOME, DO IT

Get rid of that what if mindset & leave those just in case items at home. Really ask yourself, “will this item benefit me or is it pointless?” If you really end up needing something, you can always purchase it when you get to your destination. But the best way to be is to make do with what you have. For example, when it comes to makeup, I don’t always bring every product. I sometimes bring an item for multiple uses instead. Bronzer for instance can be used as eyeshadow as well. Find ways to condense the amount of items by finding multiple ways to use it.

THE PERFECT MINIMALIST PACKING LIST:

As a reference, I wanted to share with you what I would deem as an ideal minimalist packing list. I hope this gives you some insight & inspiration on your next adventure. Whether you are traveling for a week or a month, this list shall be your guideline.

Where would you like to travel to next?

-B

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