It’s official..SUMMER is here! I never really appreciated this season while living in Texas (triple digits anyone?) until I moved to Chicago. When you are buried under snow with a polar vortex hovering over you for 6 months of the year, you savor every day of those three short but sweet summer months. So as you prepare for vacation, warmer weather and longer days check out what I’m loving this summer plus some great travel, style and entertainment tips.
The June issue of some of your favorite magazines are PACKED with great travel deals, tips and features to get your geared up for summer getaways. Conde Nast Traveler “The Hot List”, Unite4Good “Travel4Good” and Essence “Vacation Issue” with the Lyon Brothers (#Empire) shining on the front cover are a few of my favorites.
|My favorite summer travel issues|
Considering I started my own blog to encourage women (particularly black women) to travel more and embrace new experiences, I loved that Essence chose to focus June on highlighting “black girls who travel” and encouraging everyone to #seesomeworld.
Highlights from the issue include these awesome tips:
- Always bring single dollar bills when traveling abroad since most countries wont have change in U.S. Dollars
- Best days to book travel are Tuesday, Wednesday and the weekends
- For the best deals travel before or after a major holiday
I’m particularly favoring Unite4Good’s June issue because my recent travel blog post, "10 Must Have Travel Apps for Women" was featured! Woo Hoo!
|Super excited about my feature in Unite4:Good|
I'm grateful to have been featured and this is particularly rewarding for me because it's the first time my work has been included in a print publication. Beyond my feature, this month's issue is full of other valuable travel tips to help you with summer business and/or leisure travel, like this feature on Eco Friendly Hotels at Every Destination.
A New Look
Last summer I wrote about my summer travel chic essentials and joining Firmoo’s blogger program. This summer I rocking another pair of new frames from Firmoo, one of the world's most popular online eyeglass store with frames for women, men and a great portfolio of sunglasses!
Ordering on their site is a breeze and as usual the only hard part was deciding which frames to choose from:) With competitive pricing, versatile styles, great user reviews and photos plus a "virtual try on view" Firmoo is a great site to update your frames and grab some new sunglasses before summer ends!
|Loving my new Firmoo glasses!|
Ready for your new look this summer? Click link to get 15% off your first pair of glasses
Attending festivals is officially one of my favorite hobbies! With Chicago being famous for hosting more summer festivals than any other city in the world, it’s hard not to get addicted to them. For every type of food, culture, belief, music or sports there is out there, Chicago has a festival for it!
I celebrated the first day of summer yesterday at the Taste of Randolph in the Chicago neighborhood I once called home, the West Loop. I enjoyed Sauvignon Seafood Tacos from City Winery, Cheeseburgers from Grange Burger Hall, Guacamole from DeCero and some amazing Cookie Monster Ice Cream from Cone Gourmet Ice Cream while listening to some great bands and shopping the vendors.
|Street Art. God LOVES us all|
Planning to visit Chicago? Check out Thrillist feature on “Every Single Chicago Festival”
Share with me your summer travel plans in the comments below!
Travel is ingrained in my DNA. My mother was a woman who traveled across the world with ease. Whether she was exploring France on a European vacation, hanging with the locals in Guadalajara, Mexico, cruising through the Caribbean or sneaking off to Vegas. I still have the postcard she sent me from her Hawaiian vacation when I was a kid. Even as a divorced, single mother she still set aside time and money to prioritize travel. Sometimes she had kids in tow or her girlfriends, but she was also not afraid to travel alone. My mothers ability to globetrott with confidence is one of the many reasons she was and will always be my shero.
|Me and Mom - San Antonio, TX in the early 1980's|
I believe every woman should experience taking a solo trip. You don’t necessarily need to embark upon an “Eat, Pray, Love” adventure or go “Wild” like Cheryl Strayed but taking the opportunity to explore and discover on your own is a brave and bold move that could lead to an empowering experience of a lifetime.
Traveling alone can be a scary thought for many, here are four travel tips that will ease any fears and help make your solo travel experience safe, enjoyable and fulfilling.
1. Identify Your Ideal Destination
Decide if you want to lay around a beach, relax at a spa, shop all day, or tap into some history and culture. If you’ve been stressed lately a relaxing beach vacation may be what you need to unwind. Foreign destinations are always ideal if you are looking to explore history and discover a new culture. Don’t mull over the destination too long, just choose!
2. Do Your Research
Pre plan an itinerary. There are plenty of online resources available to help you figure out where to dine, shop, entertain and sight-see. You can even walk into a nearby travel agency to chat with the experts about your upcoming plans. Professional travel agents will not make you feel obligated to book your trip with them but if you do decide to book with them they can help to customize a trip specific to your travel goals.
|2006 - My first solo trip to San Francisco, California|
3. Be Friendly
Even though you are on the trip to enjoy being with yourself, making connections while there can make the trip more interesting. Don’t be afraid to casually chat with the hotel bartender or smile at other tourists you see while out and about. Maybe you can link up with another group of people to go to dinner or a local tour so you don’t feel so alone, if that is an issue for you. I find that when people are on vacation they are much more open to meeting new people and making fast friends.
4. Be Safe
Always be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you pick a travel destination that is known to be safe and recommended for tourist travel. Even when you are at a safe resort, precautions should still be taken:
- When you check in at the hotel, ask for two keys and let them know someone else will be joining you later.
- Avoid venturing outside of your hotel late at night, if you do, have a cab called ahead of time so you aren’t spotted walking down the streets alone.
- Don’t leave the hotel with your passport, keep it locked in the hotel room safe.