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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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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Vancouver Day Trip

Last Monday was my friend Chelsea’s birthday so some friends and I decided to go to Vancouver, B.C. for the day. From Seattle it’s about 2.5 hours driving time. It’s a really pretty scenic drive and we made a road trip playlist for the drive. I posted our playlist below.  This was Andy, Louie and Chelsea’s first time in Vancouver and Canada (Louie had a layover in Toronto, but never left the airport so that doesn’t count).

Make sure before you arrive in Canada that your cell phone has a plan to include Canadian cell service or you may be charged for it. Additionally, make sure your debit or credit card doesn’t charge you foreign transaction fees for being in Canada (ridiculous, but it’s true. WellsFargo charged me for being in Canada a few years ago and I learned my lesson).

Our first stop was Granville Island. If you’ve never been to Granville Island, plan to give yourself a few hours to explore. Parking is a bit tough, so you have to be patient, but it is free for the first three hours. Once you are parked, everything is walkable.

In Granville Island, there a building called the Public Market, outside are two seating areas where local artists will play music. This is a fun area to relax and listen to some low-key jams. Inside the Public Market is a hodgepodge of restaurant stalls, produce stalls and other goodies. There are other artisan craft and local stores that are fun to browse through. If you are trying to find a unique gift to give someone, Granville Island is a great place to go.

Our second stop was a dim sum restaurant called The Peaceful Restaurant. The restaurant is only about a mile from Granville Island. This restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, which is why I choose it. It is very reasonably priced and your typical Chinese restaurant with the plastic chairs, plastic bench and cups. It was clean and we got seats right away. We ordered:

  • Xia-Long Bao
  • Vegetable Steamed Dumplings,
  • Spicy Dumplings,
  • Pan-Fried Dumplings
  • Green Onion Flatbread

Including tip, it was $40.44 USD.

Our next stop was Bubble Tea and we went to ShareATea which is about a few blocks from the restaurant. This was place hopping and had a good selection of bubble tea. I ordered the Mango Green Tea with Lychee Jelly.

We did a drive through of Stanley Park. At this point, it was pretty dark so we couldn’t actually walk it, but it was a great see regardless.

Our two final stops where places I wanted to go and dragged them along (although they were kind enough to say they wanted to go also). I took them to a Japanese store called Daiso. It has two-stories and you can get a lot of home goods and random knick-knacks for cheap ($2-$10 CA range). It was a fun stop that we spent over an hour looking through all their goods.

The last stop before our drive home was a store called Real Canadian Superstore. This place was really fun and I equate it to a Walmart but classier and smells better. Here we picked up some food you can only get in Canada (like Aero Chocolate bar, Canadian version of Smarties and Old Dutch Chips BBQ Style).

After this we were back on the road and headed to Seattle (it was around 9pm at this point). Most of the ride back was Chelsea and I rapping to Hamilton while Lou slept and Andy was slightly bemused over our rap singing. We’ve decided we’re going to make these road trips a semi-regular thing and we’ve begun to plan our next trip.

What are some of the best day trips that you’ve been on? Let me know!

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(Taken on iPhone X, edited with VSCO)

 

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