Tag Archives: air travel

Is there such a thing as the perfect vacation?

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It’s mid-April as I write this, and for lots of us, now is the time to start thinking about an annual summer vacation. Yippee! It’s certainly an exciting prospect, with downtime from work, and the opportunity for some much needed R & R (either alone or with loved ones in tow). HOWEVER… for many, summer vacations induce anxiety. All manner of things can go wrong, and the idea of a “perfect” vacation is a lot to live up to.

Prep and plan as you might, your vacation may not go the way you expect it to…

  • The weather – torrential rain, wind, cold snaps – where was the sunshine you were hoping for?
  • Grumpy companions – you have taken them away for their holidays, but why do they insist on complaining all of the time?
  • Transportation  – missed or cancelled flights, car breakdowns, other people getting in your way…if only there was an easier way to transport yourself around the world.
  • Sickness – you really should have learned the lingo before choosing from the menu!

Sound familiar? Don’t worry; these problems are common to all of us. So, while it is difficult to attain absolute perfection, there are things you can do to improve your chances:

  • Do your research before travelling. Find out what the weather is going to be like at certain times of the year in your preferred location, and make sure you read reviews online about airlines, hotels, food places, etc. The better informed you are, the more likely you are to enjoy each aspect of your getaway.


  • Choose a destination you will all enjoy. Assuming you aren’t travelling alone, consider the needs of those travelling with you. While you won’t please everybody all of the time, you can still make compromises so that everyone has a good time. 


  • Read my top airport tipsI know, I know…Nothing irks me like that random dude in the security line who thinks because he flies twice a month for business he can start bossing everyone around. Everyone’s an expert, right? But if you’re planning on boarding a plane this year, give these tips a read!


  • Stick to your price range. You aren’t going to have a good time if you suddenly run out of money and find yourself with nothing to do, so budget carefully before jetting off somewhere. I think it helps to set a “before-you-go budget” (for flights, lodging, etc.) and a “spending budget” (your allowance while you’re there). 


  • Think about your accommodation. Whether you choose a luxury hotel like the Renaissance Montreal Downtown Hotel or a youth hostel off the beaten track like Hostal El Momento in Granada, make this a priority. It has to be within your budget, appropriate to your needs, and within reach of the sights you want to see while you’re away. Double-check that you’re booked in before arrival as well, just in case of a mix-up!


  • Don’t try and do everything while you’re away. With so many things to see and do, you will burn yourself out if you try and tick off everything on your itinerary. So, plan for downtime, only visit the places you are desperate to see and leave the remainder for your next holiday. 


  • Forget perfection. The higher your expectation, the more disappointment you will feel if something goes wrong. If you can go with the flow and enjoy the time you have, no matter the mishaps, the more enjoyable your holiday will be. I promise!

What do you think? Have I missed anything? Have you achieved the perfect vacation? TELL US YOUR SECRETS! 

P.S. A mini vacay to Delray Beach! 


mid-week round-up

Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and brought in 2018 with a bang. As exciting as the holiday season has been (the presents! the food! the christmas movies! the decor!), I’m feeling ready to return to routines … AND start new ones. How ’bout you? Hope you all have a wonderful day, and now let’s get back to one of my FAVORITE routines…my mid-week round-up!!!

This is what it’s like to have your period in a refugee camp.

How blackboards transformed American education.

After reading this book I now want to binge watch this and this.

The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal.

The mystery of who stole one of the world’s finest champagnes — and where it ended up.

Pilots reveal 16 nuances that keep your flight safe.

Related: Air Travel Tips & Tricks

Vinny was always my favorite.

50 questions to help you reflect, appreciate, and get excited for 2018.

The Habit Calendar features monthly themes to help you unlock your passions and form positive habits.

A judicial pact to cut court costs for the poor.

Where are all the nannies on Instagram?

Can surgical patients feel pain under anesthesia?

P.S. From the Finding Delight archives — Shirley and Ogling on Instagram and Irresistible Me Review.

mid-week round-up

Hi friends! What’s new with you? I finally watched a few more Oscar’s endorsed films over the weekend — Lion and Arrival. Highly recommend if you still haven’t seen them! Monday I was glued to my computer screen as I watched the results roll in from the National Forensics Association’s national tournament in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Huge congratulations to the students and coaches at Western Kentucky University for taking home the win! I was a very proud Hilltopper. (And may or may not have gotten a little misty-eyed when the news broke that WKU closed out debate finals…as well as when 3 females from the team took top 3 in After Dinner Speaking. #4sup4ever)

I could gush about forensics forever but I’ll get to the links…

Unarmed. Not wearing a seatbelt. Running away. Police are more likely to shoot if you’re black. 

This looks like a fun read if you’re feelin’ wanderlust-y.

Related: My seven travel tips for airports and planes.

People waste years trying not to waste hours, says best-selling author of Moneyball.

Yesterday’s Taco Tuesday inspiration.

After watching Lion, I immediately donated to the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. You should too!

Will circular runways ever take off? 

A new generation of hoarders has emerged — and they’re mobile.

A journey from Real World to homeless shelter.

Love Scandal? Create your own hit, prime-time show with Shonda’s help.

Quick, somebody “Saaave” Miami from Estrella Insurance’s sexist ads.

What it’s like to be a cheesemonger.

Related: Don’t Hide Your Hustle.

Take a hair quiz and get personalized shampoo + conditioner sent straight to your door.

P.S. Still feel like reading? Check out these Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Three Fun Office Updates and Book Review: Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace.

What’s in my Tom Bihn Synapse 19 + Side Effect

tom bihn synapse 19 side effect

Hi guys! Last week was a lesson in rolling with it when plans change unexpectedly. Chet and I were planning on spending a few days in his hometown in Louisiana (I could almost taste the poboys and frozen daiquiris) before he presented at a conference at the local university. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans.

We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare (and even bought new books at the airport bookstore for our journey!) But after delays at the gate, delays on the tarmac, and delays on the phone as we tried to figure out if there was any possible way we could get to Louisiana…we ended up in a Lyft headed back to our apartment. *DOH!*

Even though we didn’t make it to our destination, I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into my travel bags anyways. I felt like my one-bag packing mojo was pretty spot-on this time around and I’d kinda like to have a post to reference the next time I’m traveling for 2-3 days by plane. And maybe it will be useful to you as well!

tom bihn bags

As always, I’m a forever devotee of my Tom Bihn Synapse 19. The newest member of my packing accouterments entourage is the Tom Bihn Side Effect, an awesome place to store all the little things you might need access to without having to sling a backpack off your back (See also: purse). It’s a great, little companion for my Synapse. 🙂

So without further ado, here’s what I packed for a 2-day (+travel days) trip to Louisiana by plane…

In my Tom Bihn Side Effect 

Large Compartment

  • Wallet
  • Phone
  • Small notebook
  • Headphones
  • Plane Tickets

Front Compartment

  • Keys
  • Pen
  • Chapstick

In my Tom Bihn Synapse 19

* click HERE for a break-down of the Synapse 19 pockets *

Main Compartment

Deep Center Pocket 

  • Liquids bag –
    • body wash
    • perfume
    • face wash
    • toothpaste
    • and BB cream
  • Deodorant

Shallow Center Pocket

  • Lara Bar x2
  • Kindle charger
  • Advil

Bottom Compartment

  • Sandals

Left Pocket

  • A ziploc bag full of trail-mix
  • Phone charger
  • Pen, Sharpie pen, Sharpie

Right Pocket

  • Tom Bihn stuff sack
    • feminine products
    • tweezers
    • razor
    • and hair ties + bobby pins
  • tooth brush
  • and a ziploc bag with 4 face wipes

Now that you know my travel essentials for a weekend away by plane, maybe it’s time for you to start planning a trip of your own!! Happy travels!

P.S. I offer online copywriting services for busy authors and entrepreneurs. Check it out!

mid-week round-up


Good day to you all! What are you up to this week? We’ve weirdly gotten really into getting DVD’s in the mail from Netflix. Throwback, right?? Since Chet’s in charge of queuing them, I look forward to seeing what arrives each week. Maybe we’ll finally get to see all those Oscars movies from the past couple years. Haha! Anywho, thanks for putting up with all the wedding posts as of late. It’s been so fun to share all the details and photos. I think it will be really nice to have the posts to look back on. (And hopefully you find them fun to look at, too! Or even useful, if you’re planning your own wedding. Congrats!) Have a fantastic day, and here are some articles I think you should read…

How Elizabeth Holmes’s house of cards came tumbling down.

Why aren’t mental health professionals weighing in on Donald Trump?

Returning to Cuba 55 years after parents fled Castro’s regime.

Welp, my phone is clearly doomed.

Airlines are ill-equipped to handle accusations of sexual assault on their planes.

A decade in the life of our country’s wiliest coyote.

What happens to your body on a tea detox.

Lexington should leave its urban growth boundary alone.

An abortion provider in an anti-choice state.

I’m obsessed with this perfume commercial directed by Spike Jonze.

How Stranger Things channels the female frustration of being disbelieved.

Ingredients for a super luxurious spa night.

Travel Tips: Airports & Planes

my seven

I’ve flown quite a lot in my years. I was lucky enough to live a pretty well-traveled childhood, allowing me the ability to become a confident air traveler early on. I also flew a lot in my broke college days, which helped me hone ways to travel cheaply. These days, when it comes to air travel, I try to make everything run as efficiently as possible. Because flying can be a pain in the you-know-what.

In keeping with a travel theme, I thought I’d share my top tips for airports and planes that I’ve learned over the years! I know, I know…Nothing irks me like that random dude in the security line who thinks because he flies twice a month for business he can start barking orders. Everyone’s an expert, right? But because this is my blog I AM the expert…at all the things. So, for this post, I’m gonna be that guy in line tellin’ ya how it’s done.

Not checking a bag? Make sure you’ve got your life together. 

You don’t want to spend close to 45 bucks to detach from your suitcase for a few hours? Me either. But with that money-saving privilege comes some responsibility. Mainly, minimizing and organizing. Streamline your wardrobe and make sure all your pieces can mix and match. Ditch that extra pair of shoes. Wear your clunkiest items (boots, sweater, winter coat, scarf) so you don’t have to shove it in your carry-on luggage.

Keep your clear, quart-sized bag of liquids at the top of your bag or in a front zippered pocket of your rolling suitcase. Make sure your laptop is accessible and can slide right out. When you saddle up to one of those metal tables at airport security, go ahead and grab a stack of 3 bins. Let’s not kid ourselves into taking less and then having to reach back for more and disrupting the flow of fellow travelers.

Bring a water bottle! 

Darting from one end of an airport to the other can be exhausting and planes are Sahara dessert dry. If you don’t wanna shell out a fiver for a bottle of H20 then you better come prepared. I always bring an empty Nalgene with me when I fly and my first stop after passing security is to locate the nearest water fountain. I then guzzle down as much water as possible, use the ladies room before boarding begins, refill water bottle again, keep drinking, board plane, throw down my stuff, and then pee again while the plane continues to board.

(You didn’t know this was going to be a detailed account of my bladder activity did you?)

While I like to treat myself to a ginger-ale or a cran-apple juice during drink service, I also continue to drink water throughout the flight. I also don’t drink alcohol on flights (ok, maybe a glass of wine on international flights for a little help in the sleep department). Guzzling all this water helps me feel alive when I reach my destination and impacts jet lag levels.

Pack along a bevy of snacks. 

Can you tell I hate parting with money? Well, I do.  Airports are notorious for over-priced (and pretty gross if we’re honest) snacks and meals. And you can’t count on the airlines to make it rain peanuts anymore. So it’s better to be prepared. If I know I’m going to be traveling during a meal I try to pack that meal or at least part of it. A sandwich is easy to bring along. And some combination of trail mixes, crackers, carrots, and protein bars round out an on-the-cheap dining experience. I also like to bring a fruit for the actual up-in-the-air part of the day. (See again: hydration.) My favorites for this are apple slices, oranges, and grapes.

Gotta spend? Go to Starbucks. 

Sometimes a girl’s gotta treat herself. If I’m flying out super early I’m gonna want some caffeine. I’m human aren’t I!? And sometimes (especially on return trips) I may not have the appropriate level of food options to meet my level of hunger. In these situations I seek out Starbucks for a few reasons. Mainly, and this is purely psychological, I already expect Starbucks to be a little over the top when it comes to pricing. This doesn’t stop me from getting an iced coffee every now and again in my day-to-day life so it seems fine to do the same in my airport life. (I can’t find any sources that speak to the price differences between airport vs. non-airport Starbucks. In my personal experience the prices have never felt that different. If any baristas care to weigh in I’m obvi interested.)

Second, you can use any Starbucks gift cards that may be lingering in your wallet. Want a bagel and cream cheese? Get it with ~*~pretend~*~ money. Much more fun than a debit card attached to a ~*~real~*~ bank account! And finally, sometimes you hit the jackpot and the Starbucks will have FREE wi-fi when the airport itself is asking you to throw down $4.95 to connect. This has happened to me on two recent trips going through the Atlanta and Houston airports. Praise be, St. Arbucks!

Don’t go overboard with entertainment. 

It took me a long time to figure out that the Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared,”doesn’t mean I need to haul 2 novels, a book of crossword puzzles, and 3 magazines on a flight from Lexington to LaGuardia. I like to choose about 2 forms of entertainment and leave it that. Perhaps the book I’m reading and a phone full of downloaded podcasts. Or a new magazine and my laptop.

Yes, I know there’s always the chance of being delayed for hours on end but that situation is well-deserving of a perusal at the airport bookstore and treating ones-self to a New York Times bestseller (or a stack of tabloids…no judgement).

Flight cancelled? Pick up your cell phone. 

People in airports are super susceptible to herd mentality. A flight gets cancelled and you follow the mass of bleary-eyed travelers to a snaking line leading to an airline counter. Every single person in this line wants to explain to an over-worked gate agent why they are uniquely inconvenienced by the day’s misgivings. Meanwhile, you wait in line for hours on end because it seems like “the right place to be.” I consider myself an extremely patient person but no. Just no. I would much rather call the airline itself and work something out over the phone.

You’re in a metal tube hurtling through the air at ridiculous speeds…go ahead and be a decent human being for the duration.

Kindness and politeness are good rules of thumb during any sort of transportation. However, it always seems to allude people the most when up in the air. Which boggles my mind given the weird feat of getting from Point A to Point B up in the SKY where we humans don’t naturally belong. So my final tip is a little karmic in nature but still very important nonetheless…

Listen to your flight crew and follow their orders. Say please and thank you during drink service. Don’t hog the armrest. Don’t roll your eyes or make audible noises of displeasure. Don’t bemoan a remark or announcement that is out of the realm of the speaker’s control. Keep your tone decent when speaking to other passengers. Keep your language clean when speaking to your travel companions (everyone else can hear you, too.) Don’t freak out about babies or kids–you can choose to ignore them or better yet, make funny faces at them, talk to them, or offer to hold them. Thank your flight attendants and pilots as you dis-embark.

Being an asshole will not get you to your arrival destination faster. I promise. It’s just going to make the journey more ridiculous for the rest of us!Kindness goes a long way!!!

Over to you! What tips or tricks would you add to this list? Any air travel horror stories you’d care to share? (And what you learned from them, of course!) I’d love to hear! 

P.S. 5 ways health and traveling abroad go hand in hand. 

Did you find these tips helpful? Contribute to my airport Starbies fund HERE. ❤