Best Weekender Bags of 2017

The 7 best Weekend Bags of 2017 - Best Weekender Bags of 2017

Whether you're traveling for the holidays or going out of town on business having a weekender bag to meet all your travel requirements is key. Finding a weekender bag that is that is stylish, functional and can carry all your travel gear can sometimes be tedious, thankfully I've got it covered and have done the research for you (easy-peasy lemon squeezy.) Many of these weekender bags meet carry-on requirements, with a mix of wheeled luggage to spacious stylish totes, get yours before your next trip!

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Bluboon Overnight Duffle

The Bluboon travel overnight bag has multiple interior pockets that help keep your things organized. The small and large outside zipper pocket are ideal for holding: smartphones, travel documents, wallet, keys or other things that you want to get to easily. You can clip the sides of the bag together if you are not putting a lot in it, or leave it unclipped so you can maximize the space inside to hold more. This large capacity tote is ideal for a short vacation or weekend getaway. It's made out of soft, durable canvas with adjustable genuine leather straps and available in gray/army green/coffee/blue.

√ Carry on. Dimensions:21.2"/9.0"/16.5"  Capacity: 52L

Nicole Miller Sharon City Duffle Bag

Beautiful carry-all makes weekend travel stylish with this pebble-grain duffle bag with loop handles, signature animal-print interior, and detachable shoulder straps. Easily fits underneath seat so no need to mess with overhead compartments. 

√ Carry on. Dimensions: 21"/10"/12"

Po Campo Midway Weekender

My all time favorite, this bag has it all! Ready for life's travels, both big and small. A hybrid, waterproof travel tote and gym bag, it comes complete with a separate bottom compartment for your shoes or wet swimsuit (or anything else you want to keep separate) and is equipped with elastic straps for carrying your yoga mat or jacket. ONE AND DONE!

√ Carry-on. Dimensions 19.2"/13"/2.9"  

Travelon Wheeled Carry-on

Up your style quotient when you travel with this Travelon wheeled underseat carry-on. It features a trendy quilted pattern, contrast trim, dome-shaped design, and comes in numerous gorgeous shades. You can pack a pair of clothes, slippers, cosmetics, a water bottle, or books in this spacious bag. It fits perfectly under the seat and also comes with a matching back-up tote bag to carry extra clothes or last-minute buys. Includes add-a-bag strap and front organizer compartment for all your toiletries. 

√ Carry-on. Dimensions: 8.5"/14"/13.5"

Herschel Novel Duffle Bag

The novel duffle is one of Herschel supply's most popular duffle silhouettes. It features Herschel supply's signature shoe compartment for easy and organized travel while keeping to Herschel supply's classic styling, which I particularly love! This bag is great to take to the gym or for a short weekend away. This also comes in a variety of colors to suit everyones taste. 

√ Carry-On. Dimensions: 18"/11"/11.5"

Witzman Canvas Travel Backpack

Amazing convertible duffle backpack from Witzman. Features include a variety of carrying options with multiple handles which can convert the bag into a brief case/suitcase/backpack/or messenger bag. 2 front zipper pockets, a side pocket, and a main pocket with a laptop computer slot capable of holding a 12-16 inch laptop. This durable pack is great of hiking, camping, or everyday use. All backpacks come with a 1-year warranty. 

√ Carry-on. Dimensions: 13"/21"/7.5"

S-Zone Oversize Canvas Wheeled Duffle Bag

The SZone canvas duffel is a perfect bag for a long weekend getaway, slightly larger-but equipped with wheels and a retractable handle for easy airport maneuvering. This bag measures 24 x 11 x 7 inches, a tight fit, but you might be able to squeeze it on as a carry-on. Available in grey, army green or black canvas material with hand-stitched leather trim and copper hardware. The bag can also be carried in duffel-style fashion with grip handles to transport down the aisles to your seat.

Dimensions: 21.7"/14.8"/10.2"

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Top Ten Gifts for Travelers

Top Ten Gifts for Travelers - Top Ten Gifts for Travelers

We've all been there, stuck without a clue (30 minutes from Christmas dinner) with no idea what gift to buy. You don't want this to be you this Christmas, so plan ahead. As holiday and gift-giving season is fast approaching I've created my

TOP TEN

favorite traveling essentials and unique gifts for travelers in your family. From cozy cashmere socks to a beautiful watercolor scratch off map, I assure you they won't be disappointed! 

Happy Shopping

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24 Hours in Rome

24 Hours in Rome e1508179456566 - 24 Hours in Rome

Rome, known as the eternal city and the capital city of Italy, is a beautiful city full of culture and history. The historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of churches, whimsical palaces, ornate statues and monuments, and romantic ruins and fountains. If you're lucky enough to find yourself here with a 24 hour layover you'll want to cover as much ground as possible to make the most of your time there. 

I recommend HIGHLY checking all you luggage through and just bringing a small carry-on back back with your essentials for the day.

Rome-Italy-Bridge-Angels

Where to Eat

To get the full experience of visiting Italy, hit some deliciously reviewed Italian restaurants. For a quick breakfast right after hopping off the train, Bar Fondi, is perfect for a quick eat. This cozy little bar is located right around the block from Central Station, be sure not to skip out on their chocolate croissants.

Needing to rest my feet and feed my rumbling stomach following a visit the Vatican I stumbled into Mama' Ristorante Bistrot. The service is exceptional and staff so friendly they patiently explained all the menu options and gave impeccable recommendations, the tiramisu literally melts in your mouth.  

If you have trying delicious, homemade pasta on your to-do-list in Rome, look no further. Close to the Pantheon, Mamma Roma has mouthwatering pasta which is prepared in a variety of dishes, they also have homemade Limoncello which is a perfect night cap.

Club Machiavelli Pasta  - 24 Hours in Rome

If you have a bit of a sweet tooth or went in the deadly heat of the summer like I did, make sure you try their gelato. There are so many different flavors I couldn't pick just one!

Gelato - 24 Hours in Rome

What to Do

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Ceiling inside the Vatican

To make the most of my time and cover as much ground as possible purchase a one day ticket on the Big Bus Tours. Ticket are €27 and make four different stops that allow you to hop on and off, exploring at your own pace. When you want to join the tour again you simply go to a pick up location and you're on your way to the next location. There is free wi-fi on board and prerecorded commentary available in 9 different languages. The main land marks on this tour are the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Vatican Museums, and the Trevi Fountain. When you stop by the Trevi Fountain make sure to bring change to toss in, as it is thought to bring good luck! Additionally, you can save 10% if you book advance online here.

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Colosseum 

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Hercules Statues inside Vatican museum 

Getting Around

If you are arriving by plane at the Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport-Rome's main airport it's rather efficient and well connected to the city centre by public transport. If you arrive late-night this may limit you to an irregular bus into town or just grab a taxi.

  • The Leonardo Express leaves every 30 minutes to Roma Termini (*see #1, bottom left corner of photo below), Rome's central train station (~ 35 min trip). Tickets cost €14 and are available (within 7 days of departure), tickets sold at the departure platform are €15. Make sure to get your ticket stamped at the yellow machine before getting on the train, I failed to do this and had difficulty explaining myself on the way back!
  • If you're traveling with more than two people, it's more cost effective to share a taxi, they have a set price of €48 and can accommodate 4 persons with 4 bags of luggage, (hopefully you will just be traveling light if you're here on a layover like I was). This will take you about 45 minutes depending on traffic.

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Best Hikes in San Diego, California

Best Hikes - Best Hikes in San Diego, California

San Diego not only boast a beautiful coast line and beaches, there is plenty of adventure and site seeing inland as well. Being a Virgo and an Earth sign I need some sort of nature mixed in with my hectic schedule, while in San Diego I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by so many great hiking spots here are just a few of my favorites!

Cowles Mountain

Cowles Mountain Hike

Three miles round trip, one of the more popular trails in San Diego. This trail includes steep switchbacks which can get pretty crowded, the back of the mountain also has a trail that provides more shade and a less strenuous hike.
◊ Difficulty: Moderate
◊ Dog friendly 

Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain Hike

A total of 5.6 miles this very popular trail is beautiful in the spring when the flowers are blooming. If you're looking for an extra treat arrive around 5:30am-5:45am and you can reach the summit at sunrise.
◊ Difficulty: Moderate
◊ Dog Friendly

Three Sisters Falls

Known as one of the most challenging hikes in the San Diego area, Three Sisters Falls is not for beginners. There are rocky terrains, steep inclines, and a small amount of rock climbing involved. Be sure to bring a lot of water to this hike and sturdy shoes. If you're lucky enough to go when there has been enough rain fall, bring a suit to cool off and slide down the falls.
◊ Difficulty: Hard

Torrey Pines Trails

Hiking Torrey Pines - Best Hikes in San Diego, California

Multiple trails for all skill levels each offering a rewarding, gorgeous view of the ocean and if you look closely you'll be able to spot colorful paragliders soaring through the skies.  
◊ Difficulty: Easy

Cedar Creek aka Devil's Punchbowl

This is by far one of my favorite hikes due to its diverse scenery. Almost 4 miles total, you start off hiking through the flat lands downhill into the valleys to your final destination, a spectacular waterfall which pours into a natural pool, surrounded by 75-foot cliffs.
◊ Difficulty: Hard
◊ Dog Friendly

Lake Poway aka Potato Chip Rock

Potato Chip Rock Hike

For those who "do it for the gram" this iconic rock ledge provides the perfect stage. I recommend starting early in the day to beat the afternoon heat and crowds as this spot has really gained popularity. Almost 7 miles round trip, be sure to bring lots of water and a small snack.
◊ Difficulty: Hard

Find more information about these hikes and others at the

San Diego Hikers Association

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What to Do in Athens, Greece in Three Days

what to do - What to Do in Athens, Greece in Three Days

Athens is a wonderful city, you can actually feel something magical cultivating in your belly as soon as you step foot off the plane. There is an abundant of historical sites to see, mesmerizing alley ways to explore, delicious cusine that will leave your mouth watering for more and you belly near ready to pop, and friendly locals overfilling with joy and kindness waiting to give you their personal recommendations of where to go next. 

 

Here are my tips on what to do in Athens, in three days

 

The Plaka

This is the name of one of Athens’ oldest neighborhoods, in the foothills of the Acropolis. The Plaka district, although very touristy, is a busy, good vibes area with many quirky bars and quaint restaurants hidden within its winding narrow streets, worth making a stop at. The flea market was a highlight, I recommend making a day of walking around, checking out the shops in the district and then bar hopping throughout the area in the night.

Vouliagmeni Lake

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If you are in the mood to try something seriously cool check out Vouliagmeni Lake. The water in this rare geologic phenomenon are continuously replenished both by the sea and the underground thermal springs offer a natural and unique thermal spa experience. During your dip in the shallow end of the pool you can enjoy a complementary skin exfoliation by, Garra Rufa fish, which suck your dead skin away. Don't worry this is painless, however might leave you squirming if you're ticklish. Cost 16 Euros, about 30 minutes for downtown Athens. 

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Parthenon-Acropolis 

One historical site you don't want to miss! What would a trip to Athens be without a visit to this magnificent structure? Probably one of the most famous and most visited monument in the world, these structures will leave you speechless with the precision of their design and enormous size. With so much history pouring out of every crook and cranny make sure you give yourself extra time to walk around, especially if visiting during the summer (peak season I would recommend going in late winter or spring to avoid the long lines and crowded views) as well as lots of sunscreen and water. Athens is HOT in the summer! Be careful to keep all your photos and poses modest and clean (they blew a whistle at us for doing a handstand in the gravel!) and be sure not to touch anything. It is open from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm every day, although these hours can change depending on the season and sometimes it is open in the evening of the full moon in the summer. Cost: 20 Eurosfullsizeoutput 2cfb - What to Do in Athens, Greece in Three Days

ABOVE: Acropolis is the theater of Herod Atticus built by the Romans in 161 AD and  still used today for classical concerts, ballet, performances of high cultural value and Yanni.

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There are many, MANY more things to do/see here but given my short time these were my top picks. If you have more time I highly recommend doing some research and checking out more. 

Airbnb is utilized all over Europe, it's my preference when traveling with a group and is usually much cheaper than staying in a hotel. I also like the option to cook, even more so when with a group. Cooking together creates a special bond that allows everyone to slow down and get to know one another on a more personal note than when you're hustling in and out of noisy restaurants in the city.

Click here to get $40 off your first booking

This huge penthouse apartment central Athens can sleep 15, has 4 bathrooms, and 6 beds. It includes a large outdoor roof top garden with awesome views of the city AND the Acropolis, perfect for enjoying an afternoon cocktail on the deck with friends. If you want to stay in the heart of the city, Electra Palace Athens maintains warm, heartfelt Greek hospitality, cozy rooms, supreme amenities and delicious breakfast. Pamper yourself with a facial or massage at the spa or keep your cardio in check at their wellness and fitness center. As a bonus, if you stay more than 6 nights here they offer one night for FREE

If your itinerary includes a trip to Vouliagmeni Lake, Apollonia Hotel Apartments is a trendy, convenient hotel that offers free continental breakfast, a swimming pool, free high speed wifi, and is only 30 minutes from Eleftherios Venizelos Airport and a quick walk to the beach. It offers three different types of fully equipped rooms that cater to solo travelers, families, or large groups. I used booking.com for this stay and if you do too you can receive a $25 discount.

Click here to receive $25 off your stay here!

Athens is full of a variety of restaurants open from dawn through the late night. Whether you prefer upscale or fast food, you will never go hungry in this city. Below is a list of some of my favorite spots.

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Be prepared to eat Feta with EVERY meal!

  • Yard Restaurant- Great food, ambiance, and service. Perfectly located close the Acropolis. 

  • Estrella Athens - Great for a delicious breakfast or brunch. Check out my mouth watering berry pancakes!

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A few places outside the city also worth checking out

Lamarina- located at Marina Zeas, this is a nice place to relax while waiting on your vessel or kick your feet backhand enjoy the sunset following a long voyage. 

A for Athens Cocktail Bar- Voted one of the worlds 30 best rooftop bars this is something you definitely don't want to miss. The views of the acropolis as well as the rest of the city is magical. You can close your eyes while sipping on a cocktail adorn with a delicate flower, breath in the warmth of the night and actually feel connected to its history. 

 

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A for Athens  - What to Do in Athens, Greece in Three Days

View at sunset from A for Athens Cocktail Bar

If you're feeling extra special check out Dinner in the Sky. This will set you back about 120 Euros, but honestly it's

worth every penny

Said to, "take you to heaven," this unique experience can seat up to 22 people, serves you a mouth watering 5 course menu,  and lifts you up to 50 meters offering stunning panoramic views of the city. 

Dinner in the sky - What to Do in Athens, Greece in Three Days

 

  • Allow plenty of free time to roam the city. There are hidden treasures behind every corner; a man seamlessly playing his violin, giddy children chasing pigeons at the harbor at sunset, tiny alley ways ornately decorated with bright colors and shiny bells. 

  • You will most likely be coming by airplane or ferry when traveling to Athens, both thankfully are pretty simple. The metro to the Acropolis station runs roughly 8 Euros, 14 for two people.

    • NOTE: The ride takes about 45 minutes one way, plan accordingly if you're traveling back to the airport.

  • The cost of ferries will vary depending on what other island you are coming from. I used Ferry Connections they have wonderful customer service and the availability to book an open ticket for added flexibility when plans change.

    • NOTE: You have to check in at the ticketing office to obtain your tickets prior to departure, so plan to be there a little early. 

  • Taxi cabs are abundant, but unfortunately have a bad rap for unfairly charging foreigners a higher fare. The metro is another means of getting around the city and is easily navigable. I recommend using Uber as this ensures a fair price, you can download the app to your phone and request a car while connected to wifi and the trip will continue even while you're not connected. For $5 off your first FOUR rides use this promo code:  savannahh245ue

Athens Metro Map - What to Do in Athens, Greece in Three Days

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