Buenos Aires Overview

So I just wrote a blog post about how I like to plan a trip but I will admit, I did very little planning for this trip. I did maybe 20 minutes of research and that was about it. I had zero expectations and honestly didn’t know what to expect. The reason I took this trip was because my friend from college had decided to backpack Patagonia and was flying out of Buenos Aires after her trip. She invited me to join her for the last end of her trip and I jumped on the chance on having an excuse to travel.

I flew out of LAX to EZE on American – this was a 12 hour flight and I came prepared with lots of ebooks, music. I made two playlists, one to get me through the flight and one to help me sleep. My sleep music tends to be classical or soft rock and it helps me sleep so I don’t hear airplane noise.

Getting from Ezezia Airport to Buenos Aires is relatively easy. You can take a taxi or you can take a bus. I chose to take the bus – it takes you from the airport to Terminal Madero and is about an hour long and cost $370 Pesos (roughly $9USD).

Once you are in Terminal Madero I recommend getting a taxi, however here’s the caveat, Buenos Aires is still cash only so if you do not have cash, Uber works in Argentina (I’ll talk more about this in my next blog post). One thing I didn’t realize was how big Buenos Aires was so when I decided to walk to my hostel, it took me about 45 minutes walking (didn’t seem that far on the map and I was clearly wrong).

I booked one night at the Circus Hostel and then stayed at the Anselmo Buenos Aires Curio Collection by Hilton for four nights. The area I stayed in was called San Telmo and I’m going to do a blog post just on how awesome San Telmo is so stay tuned!

For the most part, Argentina is really cheap – a bottle of water cost around $120 Pesos, which is roughly $2.75 USD. The food was amazing and cheap, we had dinner out every night where we ordered appetizers, a bottle of wine and our main course and it came out to be average of $45 USD for both our meals.

I flew out of EZE to Dallas since American didn’t have a return flight to LAX. That was a 13 hour flight and I was going stir crazy towards the end of the flight. Also the person next to me wanted to talk the whole flight and I was not amused (it’s one thing to chitchat for a bit, its another thing when I’m clearly trying to sleep and you’re still talking).

Overall it was a great experience, I had a blast and cannot wait to explore more of Argentina. Stay tuned for more about San Telmo, the mistakes I made on this trip and things to do when you are there.

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How to Save for a Trip

Hi, if this is your first time reading my blog, thanks and I hope you stay!

Today’s blog post is going to be about saving money for a trip or life!

If you’re like me, you’ve got a lot of bills: car payment, car insurance, student loans, rent, cell phone bill, etc etc. These things add up and can seem like it’s impossible to save for that dream trip you’re dying to take. It’s really difficult to save and traveling is expensive. Hotel costs, food, souvenirs, tours are just a few things we anticipate paying for when we’re on a trip. I want to help alleviate that stress so I’ve written about a few different ways I save so I can take the trips I want.

*Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor so please make sure to do research and choose the best option for you.

1. Qapital App

I found the Qapital app while browsing NerdWallet two years ago and I’ve been using it ever since. This app allows you to determine how much you save and what kind of savings you want. Once you connect your bank account to it, you can set up how much you want it to save. The reason I like this app is it creates a separate savings account that I can’t see when I log into my bank account. It’s only accessible via the app so I often forget I have it, but it’s very easy to transfer money from the app to your bank account. However this savings account does not accrue interest.  There’s a few different settings that they have so I’ll just write the ones I use.

The first is the round-up savings. Every time I use my debit card, or pay a bill, it will round up to the next dollar and withdraw the change into my savings account. (Example: I spent $3.50 on coffee, it’ll withdraw $0.50 and put it into a savings account for me).

The second setting I use is 54 deposits. This starts out withdrawing $1 on the first week, $2 on the second week, $3 the third week and so forth. You do not however receive any interest on your savings.

There are many other settings you can choose to increase your savings and different goals you can create. You can sign up here.

2. Acorns App

I really like this app because it’s very basic to use and allows you to invest easily. This uses a similar model that Qapital uses by rounding up and taking the change and saves it for you. Th only difference is this app invests the money rather than putting it into a savings account.

This does come with a monthly fee of $1 (or $2/$3 if you want more features). I honestly don’t know more about this app except that it takes my money and invests it, I watch it grow and can withdraw it pretty easily.

3. Save your tax return

This is probably something you hear from your banker or financial advisor (if you have one) but saving your tax return and investing it can help you in the long run. Every year I take my tax return and place it in a CD for 12 months. This way, I can’t spend the money, and I’ll be penalized if I try and withdraw it early. By placing it in a CD, I’m also allowing it to be invested. After the CD matures, I only withdraw the money that was earned on it and keep the initial tax return in the CD. I use Marcus by Goldman Sachs for my CDS.

4. Recurring Savings Deposits

This is something else I do that has been really helpful. Through my payroll department, I’m able to have a recurring deposits withdrawn from my paycheck before it comes to my checking account. If you are able to do this at your company, I suggest you enroll in this. For me, this means I am able to put money aside every month without having to do it myself. These savings are is also not connected to my daily bank account but is easily accessible to transfer money to and from. For me, the best way I’m able to save is if I don’t see the money. I use Barclays Online Banking for this savings account.

Hope this was helpful and not too boring. Do you have any savings tips that you think are really useful? Let me know in the comments below.

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5 Essentials from a Flight Attendant

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As someone who literally lives out of their suitcase, I have learned to be a savvy packer so I can fit everything I need. Sometimes I stack my trips together which means I could gone for 8 days or more. While I often rotate different outfits, there are a few things that have become my essentials for every trip. Below are some of my favorite items that I always take with me.

1. Packing Cubes

I mentioned in my post about Holiday travel about the AmazonBasics Packing Cubes, but I’m mentioning them again because I swear by them. I pack a different outfit for each cube and each climate. I have an outfit for winter, summer and moderate climate. I am able to fit three cubes in my suitcase, a toiletry bag and three pairs of shoes (flip flops, converse and tennis shoes).

2. Water Bottle

I love my Contigo Ashland Water Bottle because it has a hook that can attach to anything. I leave it empty and then once I’m in the airport I’ll fill it up and hook it to my luggage. I constantly drink water to stay hydrated and I try and reduce waste by not using plastic water bottles. It’s also a very sturdy water bottle as I use this on every flight I’ve had since I’ve started (about 470 flights, but who’s counting). By having this reusable water bottle, I always have water on hand and I’m helping the environment, win-win!

3. Lunch Box

Sounds funny right? I stopped carrying an actual lunch box in middle school and would only carry my food in a brown paper bag. However, with the crazy hours of my jobs, I pack food to make sure I always have something to eat. This is a good habit to start because it can help save you money on in the airport but also if there isn’t anything open you have a backup. I use SnapLock by Progressive to pack my food in as they’re light and dishwasher friendly.

4. Moisturizer

Traveling to different climates wreaks havoc on your skin. Trust me, I’ve spent the last 22 months trying to find the perfect moisturizer that I’m not allergic to. I use Garnier SkinActive for multiple reasons. The first, it has 30 SPF built in. I like that its a two-in-one, it’s moisturizing my face while also protecting it from the sun. Additionally, it’s the only moisturizer I have found that has been able to withstand the constant flying and heavy makeup that I wear. The second, it’s relatively inexpensive. When I started researching different moisturizers, I wasn’t ready to commit to anything expensive, as I wasn’t sure how successful it would be. This was one of the most highly rated moisturizers that I felt didn’t kill my wallet at the same time. I’ve been happy with it and I haven’t had to buy a replacement yet. I purchased it in February of this year and I put wear it four to five times a week.

5. Kindle/Kindle App

I actually have the OG Kindle and it recently died on me so I haven’t invested in a new one, but I have my iPhone and my iPad which I am currently using in lieu of my dead Kindle (R.I.P. OG). As I travel more and often do this as a solo traveler, I have found that the thing I enjoy the most is finding a coffee shop, drinking tea and reading a book. I always have two or three books on my Kindle that I am reading at a time. I actually rent all my books through my local library and it’s very easy to do this. Many libraries are increasing their ebook selections and I encourage you to join your local library and support them. I’m currently reading Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital (The Story that inspired NBC’s drama New Amsterdam). I recently just finished The Romanov Empress and I’ll be coming out with a review of it later.

Are there any things that you always take with you no matter where you are traveling? Comment below and feel free to subscribe.

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12 Places I Want to Travel To

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I’m the typical millennial that just wants to travel and discover myself. I’ve got the traveling on lock down, but I’m still trying to figure out who I am. While I keep working on myself, I’m going full steam ahead on my travel plans. Next year I want to go to at least two new countries. I’ve already got plans to go to Argentina and Portugal next year (plus France and Spain, but I’ve already been there so I can’t cross those off my list). Here’s a list of the 12 places I want to travel to.

  1. Croatia
  2. Morocco
  3. Peru
  4. Russia
  5. Australia
  6. New Zealand
  7.  Sweden
  8. Finland
  9. Maine
  10. Vermont
  11. Rhode Island
  12. Italy

What are some countries or States that you want to visit? Have you been to any of the places I listed? If so, any advice on what I should see? Let me know!

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16 Things to Remember When Traveling

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Traveling is stressful. Traveling during the holidays is extra stressful. I’ve been there, I used to fly home every Christmas when I was away for college. It can be overwhelming, time-consuming and claustrophobic. I can’t prevent things from going wrong, but hopefully this list will help make things less stressful when you’re traveling. This is a long list, but these are all things that I have found make traveling for myself easier.

Here are 16 Things to Remember When You’re Traveling.

  1. Know the weather ahead of time and pack accordingly. If you can pack light and easy, then that’ll make your life easier.
  2. Download movies and books ahead of time because the Airport WiFi might be overloaded with too many people on it.
  3. Don’t leave the house without double checking you have all your important documents (like passports etc).
  4. Download the app for your airline to make traveling easier, and can get notifications for any issues that might arise around your flights.
  5. Give yourself more than 2 hours to get through security lines, even more, if you are at a major airport like LAX, ATL, JFK.
  6. If you are checking your suitcase, make sure it is clearly marked that it is yours. A unique color suitcase or a ribbon to tie around the handle that makes it obvious it is yours.
  7. If you’re traveling with kids (or honestly have it for yourself) bring an extra change of clothes.
  8. Before going through security, put everything into your carry on. This will make going through security easier and you don’t have to worry about forgetting to grab your wallet or watch.
  9. Always double check your gate. Even if you are there early, gates can change.
  10. If something goes wrong (like delays, cancellations etc) please remember to be nice to the Customer Service Agents. They are only people and they are doing their best.
  11. Bring food or snacks because sometimes you might not have time to get food, or the line is too long.
  12. Bring an empty water bottle and fill it up past security. Staying hydrated is important when traveling. Did you know the air pressure in a plane cabin is as dry as the Gobi Desert?
  13.  Bring spare portable battery, as there may not be any room to charge your devices at the charging stations.
  14. Bring headphones, no one else needs to hear your music or tv show.
  15. Use the bathroom before you get on the airplane.
  16. For the plane, bringing face wipes and a travel toothbrush and toothpaste will make you feel refreshed after a long flight.

Any tips you think are helpful?

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Thanksgiving in Vegas

Like many people who work in customer service, holidays and weekends are rare things for us to get off. While we can get them off, as a junior flight attendant, it’s really difficult to. I’m okay with this, as I understand it’s part of the job and I have the incentive that I get paid double time to work holidays. Last year I spent Thanksgiving flying to LAX, sitting for 8 hours in the airport and then flying to Anchorage. This year I flew to San Francisco and then Vegas. My layover was in Vegas and my friend Phil (the same Phil from Chena Hot Springs) lives in Vegas so he picked me up and showed me Vegas as he knows it.

Vegas is a really interesting place, for most of us, we imagine Vegas as this glitzy, glamorous city that we visit. It’s rarely a place we think that people actually live in. Phil hates living in Vegas and has told me repeatedly his first goal is to save up so he can move from there. Vegas from a resident point of view is so different and so fascinating. Phil took me to the Seven Magic Mountains which is an art project outside of Las Vegas. It’s about a 25-minute drive that is easy to get to, (pretty much a straight shot) from Vegas, but you’ll need a car. The Magic Mountains are 25 ft. boulders that are colorfully painted. After the Magic Mountains, we went to the Container Park which is the coolest thing I’ve been too!

The Container Park is located in Las Vegas in the Fremont area. Fremont is considered the “old original” Vegas. They have a really cool LED Canopy that does 5-minute show on the hour. I recommend you go just to walk around and to see the show! The Container Park is full of boutiques and local restaurants, but I liked the area because it was quiet and pretty low-key for Vegas. Also, all the boutiques were local shops, not chain stores like those on the Strip so I liked knowing I was supporting a local business.

I always have a good time when I’m in Vegas (sometimes too much of a good time), but this was a different and fun experience because I saw parts of Vegas I never would’ve thought to go to. It’s fun to see Vegas from Phil’s point of view, and I definitely want to see it again.

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Container Park, iPhone X

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Seven Magic Mountains, iPhone X

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I went to Chena Hot Springs

Last week I got called in to work a flight to Fairbanks, Alaska. I wasn’t particularly excited because the flight back from Fairbanks was at 1am in the morning which meant I would land in Seattle at 6am which is peak rush-hour time. I was excited though because my friend Phil was also working on the flight and I hadn’t seen him since December of last year.

Normally when I’m in Fairbanks in the winter, I hibernate and stay in my hotel room (but honestly I do this 90% of the time). However, Phil has a friend in Fairbanks who was going to pick him up and take him to Chena Hot Springs. Phil invited me along and I willingly said yes (sorry Laura I crashed your reunion with Phil, but thanks for being gracious about it).

Chena Hot Springs is about an hour drive from Fairbanks and is a single lane road for most of the way. Renting a car in Fairbanks in the winter starts at $26.00 according to Kayak.com. I advise renting an SUV with AWD as this will make the drive easier and safer. Make sure to also pack a full water bottle as hot springs will dehydrate you. It costs $15.00/person for an entrance fee, and if you want to use their lockers you will need 2 quarters for each locker. They also provide towels for an extra $3.00.

The Hotsprings is really enjoyable and relaxing. If you want to go when it is not overly crowded, I recommend going during the day. However, the coolest thing is to go to the Hotsprings during the night when the Northern Lights are out, but this happens to also be the busiest and most crowded time. I really want to do this and will probably try and make it out there at night at some point. We arrived around 12:30pm and sat in the hot springs for about an hour and a half and it was relatively empty. There’s also an Ice Museum next to the Hot Springs that you can visit. I didn’t have time to go, but I probably will go if I get the chance.

After going to Chena Hot Springs, I got interested in how it was created so I did a little research and I found it quite fascinating. It was founded in 1905 by two gold mining brothers who were in search of a way to ease the pain of rheumatism. It officially opened in 1911 and has been opened there ever since. If you want more information about the history of the Hot Springs or about planning a trip there, check out their website here.

This was my first time going to a hot spring and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been or who wants to experience Fairbanks and the Chena Hot Springs. It’s now my goal to visit a hot spring on every continent.

Have you been to a hot spring? Any hot springs recommendations? I’m planning on going to Laird Hot Spring in 2019.

(Chena Hot Springs. iPhone X, edited with Snapseed. All Rights Reserved.)

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Some musings of a Flight Attendant

Hi there, thanks for reading my blog and hope you enjoy it. Feel free to leave a comment or email me if you have any questions you want me to answer or any topics you want me to talk about.

One thing I’m often asked “how is life as a flight attendant” and it’s a really hard question to answer. Like any jobs, there are pros and cons, but I love my job.

What I love about my job is the flexibility. I can work as much or as little as I want. This year has been a pretty chaotic and stressful year. The beginning of the year my grandmother passed away and that was a devastating blow that affected me more than I thought. I ended up taking a lot of time off. Additionally, I love the ability to take off time to travel. Early this February I went to Madrid last minute because my friend happened to be there on the same days that I have off. That was an exciting last minute trip that I feel grateful I had the opportunity to take. There are times when I want to be home, but I’m flying for four days instead.

What is the most frustrating part of my job is the behavior of the passengers on the plane. For the most part, a majority of passengers are nice, respectful and listen, but there are always a handful that just make you want to bang your head against the wall.

One thing I would like to point out is 99% of everything we do or say is based on safety. We don’t ask you to put your tray table up and seat backs forward to be annoying. We do it because landing and takeoff are when plane accidents happen. If we have to evacuate the plane, we want to be able to ensure you are able to get off the plane. It’s a lot harder to get out of your seat if your tray table is down and the seat in front of you is laying on your lap. The other 1% is telling you we don’t have Pepsi.

A confession I have is sometimes I really admire other flight attendants who have told me they met their significant other on the plane. I often wonder how that went down. Did the flight attendant slip their number subtly? Did the passenger come up and give them their number? How did they connect? Was it love at first sight? These are important questions! On a side note, I’ve actually had two passengers give me their numbers.

The first time was my very second flight ever and I was saying goodbye to the passengers as they deplaned and he gave me a piece of paper that had his number on it. I didn’t text him back, I felt awkward.

The second time we had landed was when I was flying to Cuba. I had been working first class and he was a first class passenger who literally slept the whole entire flight. Once again, as I was saying goodbye he got up and said he enjoyed the flight and wanted my number. As we were in Cuba, and I didn’t have any cell reception, I didn’t get any of his messages until I landed back in the United States. Needless to say, that didn’t go anywhere.

Are there any questions you have for a flight attendant? Or a really cute/funny story about how you met your significant other?

These are two pictures I took in Cuba on a Fujifilm XT-10 and edited on VSCO.

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Holiday Travel Tips

It’s my third blog post. Thanks for everyone who has followed so far and if you’re a new reader, thanks for stopping by!

It’s that time of year again, Christmas decorations are replacing Halloween displays and some people may have already started playing Christmas music (hint: me). Holidays are a great time to reflect on the past year, have an excuse to dress up and go to lots of parties. Holidays are also an extremely stressful time for traveling so I’ve decided to write a post with all my holiday tips on making travel easier.

1. Get to the airport early

I know you hear this all the time, but holidays are a time for an influx of one-time or two-time fliers. These are travelers who only travel one or two times a year, which means they are not well-versed with traveling and they often take more time to get through security and the airport. This also allows you enough time to get through security and get to your gate without having to run there. You can take a leisurely stroll through the airport and admire the artwork and stores.

2. Pack light

This seems really hard, but it’s something that will make your life easier. If you can get through the airport without having to lug a huge suitcase around or sprint if you’re running late (looking at all those passengers who bring on huge suitcases onto the plane, I see you). One of the easiest ways to do this is plan your outfits ahead of time and pack only them. I use Amazon Basics Packing Cubes and can fit about two outfits per cube depending on the outfit. Also, check to make sure you can carry your own bag, if you can’t lift your suitcase into the overhead bin, do you think the flight attendants can? (answer: no).

3. Download apps ahead of time and have a backup battery

This seems very obvious, but downloading the app of the airline you are flying on helps keep you in the loop for what gate your flight is departing from and any other hiccups that might come along the way (like delays, moved gates etc).

Additionally, some airlines now offer free streaming on their entertainment system app so downloading this ahead of time gets you free movies on the flight. Most airlines use Gogo Entertainment App.

Having a backup battery charger helps prevent unwanted stress from having a dead phone. Also, knowing the airports as well as I do, many don’t have enough outlets available to charge your electronics, or they’re not working. I carry the Charmast Portable Charger because it comes with the usb cables attached so I don’t have to carry both a charger and a cord. However, don’t forget to pack your actual charger.

4. Bring food

Bring some snacks or lunch! Airport food can be expensive and traveling can often take up the whole day. Depending on where your seats are on the plane, they might run out of food before they can get to your seats (remember: this is not the flight attendants fault and do not yell at them for this). Packing your own food prevents you from getting hangry and also helps you save money!

These are just a few tips I have, do you have any tips that you use when you travel? Comment below and follow!

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Welcome to my blog!

Hi there,

Thanks for reading my blog. I’m really excited to finally launch it after months of thinking if I should or not. This blog is going to be a melting pot of travel tips, my random thoughts, book and movie reviews and my life as flight attendant. I love talking about traveling, books and movies so I thought, why not wrap it all in one?

A little about myself –

I’m a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines and I’m based in Seattle, WA. I’ve lived in Los Angeles, St. Paul and Seattle. I have a degree in Political Science and I used to be a legal assistant and I did a term with AmeriCorps. I’ve been a flight attendant for almost two years and I’m loving the job more and more as each month passes.

Being a flight attendant is definitely hard and different from your normal desk job. We work crazy hours, are constantly in different time zones and have to pack for all sorts of weather.

Thanks for reading my first blog post and can’t wait to bring you along this crazy ride I call my life.

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Seattle-Tacoma Airport (All Rights Reserved)

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