In the past 4 months Cameron and I have been to 2 countries and 6 cities over-seas. Thanks to a team of wonderful babysitters (shout out to you mom and dad and Aunt Sissy and Uncle Chris,whoop whoop!) and some pretty awesome travel deals we were able to ride camels in Jerusalem and ride gondolas in Venice. Although it’s been amazing to see the world, there’s no place like home! Through my travels I have learned along the way on how to do it without breaking the budget and how to do it in style. With a recent trip to Lucky Brand on Market Street in the Woodlands I gathered inspiration on traveling on a budget and in style.
For my travel look I went with something that was super comfortable that can go from a long flight to dinner off of the Amalfi Coast. In my Lucky Brand Lolita Capris comfort is king with their worn-in feel. On top I paired the light pink jean with a flowy pinstripe top (similar) with sleeves that can be rolled up or down, perfect for colder flights. On foot, suede block heels (similar) that are comfortable enough for a stroll on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. The thing that I love about shopping at Lucky Brand is that when you are looking for style and comfort, the whole store fits the bill. You can’t go wrong with this SoCal brand that oozes chill.
1. Travel Comfortably And In Layers
Three years ago for my 30th birthday I wanted to do it big. Cameron and I and our best friends went on a European trip to London, Paris, and Rome. My friend Leslie and I were so focused on what we were going to wear that we over packed and were uncomfortable 90% of the time. We were so concerned about making sure we looked cute for pictures that we totally didn’t consider that we would be walking, and touring, and outside most of the time. Boy did our feet pay the price! On top of that, we barely took any pictures together! Take this as cautionary tale to remember what you will be doing while traveling and take walking and weather into consideration. I since have learned to travel in layers. Like the outfit above most of my tops have tank tops under them. If I get too hot I can take the top off and wrap it around my waist. Leggings and jeggings travel really well, are super compact, and don’t wrinkle. In both Israel and Italy the mornings were cold, afternoons were warm, and evenings back to cold. I wore a light jacket everyday and when I was hot, tied it around my waist or pushed the sleeves up. ALWAYS bring a pair of tennis shoes for days you know you will be doing a lot of walking…not just flats..but real life, rubber sole, arch supported, tie-em-up, athletic shoes!
2. Get It On Groupon
People often ask Cameron or I how we can afford to travel the way we do. Well, it’s a mix of bartering (Cameron exchanged wedding photography for our tour guide to Israel’s daughter for our trip) and finding great deals on the internet. I am a firm believer that you don’t have to wait until you are retired to be able to enjoy life. For our 9 day Italy tour through Rome, Florence, and Venice we found it on Groupon for $2,000 for the both of us! That included airfare, hotels, train travel from city to city, and breakfast every morning. That’s a pretty amazing deal! Many travel agencies have amazing deals like this if your schedule is flexible. You don’t have to be rich to travel, you just need to know where to look.
3. Research Sight Seeing Spots Off The Beaten Path
Because our trip to Italy did not include guided tours, I did a little research in advance to see what we could get into. I found a gem of a site called Viator that lists things to do by city. The activities range from super cheap walking tours with a guide to extravagant private excursions. One of our favorite things that we did was take Vespas through Florence and the tuscan countryside. We would have never known about that if I hadn’t done my research ahead of time. We loved that this activity isn’t something that we could have done anywhere else. It was once in a lifetime and it was awesome!
4. When It Comes To Eating, Trust The Locals…or Yelp.
This is key. When you travel to popular tourist cities, there are many many restaurants that are catered to dishing out high priced “tourist food” that’s straight out of the microwave. If you want true authentic food asking a local is the best bet (and I am not talking about the concierge at the hotel either…sometimes they are in cahoots with the tourist food places). When you ask the locals, we found that they were really eager to share with us where the legit places were. Think about it, when people ask you recommendations on where to eat in your town, or even recommendations on NETFLIX aren’t you so eager to fire off good recs?! NOt only was the food excellent, but we also found that it was cheaper then the tourist “gotcha” places. Yelp is also a great app to have at your finger tips so that you can not only see the reviews before you go but you can also see pictures of the food.
5. Walk Everywhere
You want to save some serious dough? Walk! It’s incredible the amount of money we saved by not taking a taxi. Some cities like London and Paris have a really great metro or subway system that offers day or week passes for under $10. But for cities like Jerusalem, Florence, and Venice, it’s a lot trickier. Fortunately these cities are smaller so walking is a great option (not to mention great exercise, and a close up view of the city).
Go out there and see the world, ya’ll!
Thank you to Market Street The Woodlands for sponsoring this post. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.