Travel Inspiration

Let's go!

Feeling that travel itch? Yeah, I totally get that! Start on this page to find some inspiration depending on what you love to do when you travel. You can also use the search bar to search for destinations or activities! Where will your next trip take you?

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube for even more travel inspiration or check out the Destinations page to see where I’ve been and all of my suggestions. 

I also have some super handy travel tips so you can stress less and enjoy your travels more! You’ll also find a few gift guides below if you are looking for the perfect gift for that traveler you love…or to get ideas for your own birthday come up!

YouTube

Watch as I share European gems through food and memorable experiences, plus you can discover my adopted home of Amsterdam with me and see what it’s like to be an expat in the Netherlands.

Travel Tips

Jessica with first aid travel kit

Travel first aid kit and comfort kit

I’m a first-aid nerd. In middle school when we started having clubs, I joined the first aid club. My dad was an EMT and firefighter, and I was always listening to safety talks. I even joined an organization called Safe Kids (in collaboration

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Standing on Prinsengracht

The BEST Shoes for Traveling

Trying to figure out which are the best shoes for traveling? After years of travels, these are the types I’d recommend for anybody no matter the destination.

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Stockholm boat - with the Stockholm Pass

Top tips for traveling in Europe

Are you READY for EUROPE?! Eeeeekkk! How exciting to take your first trip to this amazing cluster of countries! Feeling a bit nervous? That’s perfectly normal but let’s see if we can help with some of our top tips. Traveling to Europe is

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Recently, I really started to noticed all the waste we produce unintentionally. I write this post not to preach, blame, or get on a soapbox. I write this post on zero waste travel to get you thinking about whether making some small changes to create less waste is something you want to do. The thing I’ve noticed about the zero waste movement is that, for the most part, it’s not all about being perfect and creating ZERO waste. That’s virtually impossible. With everyone making small changes, a big difference can be made in the world. These are the small changes I’ll be making throughout this year. They are simple swapouts and typically will save you money in the long run. Packing with less waste for the bathroom Do buy GoToobsDon’t buy the little travel bottles of your favorite shampooIf you’re like me, you might take advantage of sales and have a stockpile of shampoos and such that you need to get through. GoToobs have been my go-to for years now to fill with the bottles I already have. I love them because they are easy to pack, easy to fill, and easy to clean. I recommend going for the 2.5 oz bottles or less for regular travel. I have never gone through a 3 oz bottle of anything when traveling for a week. Do take shampoo/conditioner barsDon’t use bottles at allThis is the next step if you’re up for it. Since I still need to go through my bottles, I’m not here yet, but I’ll be trying the shampoo and conditioner bars from Lush once I get there. I’ve heard great things about their shampoo bars and mixed reviews about the conditioner bars, but once I use them for a while, I’ll let you know how they work for me. There have been rave reviews of J.R. Liggett’s shampoo bars as well. Do some research and see which you like best. Do buy bar soapDon’t buy shower gel in plastic bottlesSean’s always done this. You can wrap it in a washcloth when you travel or get a travel case for it. This will be a new one for me, but between the bottle of gel and the plastic in body puffs, I decided a bar of soap is best. Bonus points for a no package bar from a market or speciality store, but let’s be real, that’s not the easiest thing to find. Baby steps. Do take a washclothDon’t use body puffsI just mentioned this above, but washcloths last so much longer and are so versatile where the body puffs are not usually made well and get trashed quickly and typically made of plastic. Do get a bamboo toothbrushDon’t get a plastic toothbrushThis might just be the easiest swap. Even if you don’t have a compost to dispose of the bamboo toothbrush in when it’s finished, it’s still a better option. Bamboo is a highly renewable resource as it grows super fast and it takes less energy to produce than plastic. I figure it’s still a step up if you have to toss it. Daily items to use when traveling to reduce waste Always have a reusable bagAvoid one time use plastic bagsOnce you get in this habit, it’s super easy. We started using reusable bags in the U.S. I bought one for every family member (I’m not sure any of those get used!) and we got ourselves one just to get used to taking it. Then a friend gave me one for my birthday 2 years in a row. I think she forgot, but we still use them, so we’re happy about it :) The bags I bought were recycled from old plastic bottles. Easy to pack and throw in any sized bag. Of course, if you have a million fabric/canvas totes from conference like me, they are perfect if they are big enough! We have to pay for bags here, so it’s an easy habit to get into :) Check prices on reusable shopping bags. Take a reusable water bottle everywhereAvoid single-use plastic bottlesThis isn’t always possible, but it’s about taking small steps to reduce waste. I’m not in the habit of remembering my bottle, but when I do, it pays off! I had it in my backpack side pocket when we got snacks from the airport and the women noticed it. She asked if I wanted her to fill it up before we got on the place. YES! Brilliant idea! I use a stainless steel bottle right now, but I used to use and may buy again, a Camelback bottle. If you want super safe drinking water in places you’re unsure if you should drink it, try a Lifestraw bottle. Make homemade snacksAvoid a ton of wrappersDid you catch the story above? We bought snacks at the airport. I hate doing that because I know it’s expensive and causes unnecessary waste. But it happens. I do prefer, however, to have a prep evening the night before a flight to make something homemade to take with us. I’ll be getting these kinds of silicone baggies to take as well so we can keep reusing them. Right now it’s regular plastic baggies and I feel so bad about it. It’s on the next Amazon list! Take reusable utensils/strawsDecline plasticware/plastic strawsSean was given a set of bamboo utensils in the U.S. in a little pouch and adored them. Used them all the time at work. I just asked him whatever happened to them. Turns out, he is still using them! Proud wife :) Now, I need to get a set! We both just got stainless steel straws, as well. Though, straws are a big thing here. Take away cups with straws isn’t a big thing and you don’t always get them in restaurants, but we’ll still take them if we get a soda (which is rare!). In the U.S., however, they would really come in handy. I'm thinking this full set would be perfect! These are some small steps we have made or are going to be making in our lives to impact the planet just a little less. The smallest of efforts, if done by many, can make a big difference! I’m happy to be doing my part. What is your favorite thing to do to have the environment? Wishing you joy and travels!

Zero waste travel: Packing using less packaging

Recently, I really started to notice all the waste we produce unintentionally. I write this post not to preach, blame, or get on a soapbox. I write this post on zero waste travel to get you thinking about whether making some small changes

Read More »
How to find meaningful and unique souvenirs from travel

How to pick unique souvenirs

Updated: February 1, 2019 There are so many types of travelers out there from those going abroad for the first time to taking Caribbean cruises, backpacking through Southeast Asia, family trips to Disney. And travel means something different to everyone. So, how do you

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The best of European budget airlines

Top tips for budget airlines

If you want to fly, European budget airlines are definitely the best way to get around Europe if you can follow their rules. They allow so many people, like us, to travel more frequently and to more places than we’d be able to get

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Travel Gift Guides

woman in the middle of the frame, traveling and standing with her back to the camera and wearing a dark green backpack facing a white temple

Gifts for travel lovers

Finding the best gifts for travel lovers should be easy, but when all the lists have the same things and you’re thinking to yourself “I’m sure they already have that.” You might be right! If the giftee is a frequent traveler, they probably

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From: freestocks on unsplash | Mulitple gift bags decorated in red and white

Gift ideas for someone who has everything

Gift-giving can be down-right frustrating at times. This is especially true when it’s for someone you don’t know well (new addition to the family or secret Santa), a person who is quite minimalist, and the person who seems to have everything. In this

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