Travel Light, Pack Right

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When you are taking a family vacation, you want to be ready for anything.  You also don’t want to pack everything and the kitchen sink.  What do you really need when you are headed out?


A good cell phone is key.  I know some people are die hard apple fans, but I love Samsung.  In my opinion, it is the better option and I have preferred them for years. The new Galaxy S7 is amazing, you won’t want to put it down. The photos are sharp- which is a must for not only travel but anyone with children, the apps you can download are great and varied (nearly everything comes in an android version now, and if it doesn’t there is something similar), and most of the new versions are water resistant, which makes them that much more durable.  They tend to last longer then other brands I’ve had as well, without getting “glitchy” or throwing as many errors or slowing down as much as they get older.  (Yes, I keep my phones for the long run, then I let my son play with them on wifi only when I upgrade.) Sprint, the network that I’m using, also pairs really well with the new Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge  and has some really awesome offers at the moment for both new and existing customers, so it’s the perfect time to upgrade.  Summer travel is only a few weeks away, check out all that you can get with these new phones and services. No one likes to be in a dead zone, or “out of range”.   Options and prices vary, visit your Sprint store for details.


While your phone will likely be your main source of photo taking, lets be real- you need a camera for all the “big stuff”.  You don’t want to take your phone into a lake, the ocean, the pool, or ziplining- at least I don’t.  The photos might be awesome, but I don’t want to lose the phone (or ruin it) in the process of getting those “must have” shots.  The new GoPro HERO4 Session is the smallest, lightest camera that has come from the GoPro family yet, and the price point is doable at $200.  It has an app that lets it connect to your phone (for free) and you can see your photos and videos right away if you would like.  Smart remote sold separately. You can hold it, mount it, wear it- really, anything you’d like.  It’s waterproof, so you can take it jet skiing, snow tubing, kayaking- whatever suits you.  It’s really a camera that is ready for any adventure, and provides high resolution, sharp, professional-looking video.  Charge it up, and it’s ready to go capture some memories.   Pick yours up at .


You will want to dress appropriately, without having to pack everything. A good pair of shoes is top of the list, and one pair that I really like (and that does double-duty) is The Sara by NAOT.  Not only super cute, but super comfortable. Dress them up or down, these gladiator inspired sandals are padded, and have an anatomic cork and latex footbed which  is wrapped in oh-so-soft suede.  Yes, it can get wet and still look fine and function.  As you wear it, the sole molds to the shape of your foot. The heel and back panels have additional lining and padding as well for extra comfort no matter how long you wear them.  I have worn these all over the place, and have not got blisters or weird “ow” spots from strange rubbing . Of course, that doesn’t mean go hiking the first day you wear them, be smart- they are still shoes, break them in.  Get them at or Amazon for about $150, several colors available.


Looking to stay warm? Why not keep the dreaded bugs (now with added Zika virus) at bay with the new line from Craghoppers.  The NosiLife Apparel with Insect Shield® insect repellent as well as sun protection woven into the fabric is non-irritant and non-hazardous to the skin.  The jackets are cute and comfortable as well, perfect for summer weather excursions and nights when it gets cooler.  My son tried out the new Nat Geo NosiLife Chima Jacket, which is soft and lightweight, has front pockets, zip front, and a hood for when it gets chilly.  It’s also nearly impossible to wrinkle, which mom appreciates. I tested out the NosiLife Astrid Cardigan, which has neither pockets nor hood, but is easy to dress up or down, so it’s perfect for trips where you can’t pack too much. Also soft, lightweight, and hard to wrinkle, neither of us had bug bites on our arms while wearing these jackets.  Pick up jackets for your crew at



One more item that has become somewhat of an essential for me is the RFID Travel SCOTTeVEST.  It’s perfect for all those times when you don’t want to or can’t carry a giant bag, but want to carry things with you.  Your camera, binoculars, tablet, granola bars, wallet, maps, whatever provisions you prefer- this vest has room for it all. It has 18 pockets, is super lightweight, and looks nice on as well. You won’t look like the marshmallow man when wearing it- huge plus.  It comes in several colors, and has a special RFID blocking pocket to keep your passport, credit cards, etc safe from pickpockets and identity thieves.  Because the pockets are on the inside, your stuff is also safer from wandering hands.  You can choose from a regular or 2 way zipper as well- and yes, there are men’s versions.  I’ve been using this for way more then travel, it’s certainly gotten tested.  Regular life can require a lot of pockets sometimes! Since getting it, I’ve been surprised how much use I’ve gotten out of it.  Pick one up, and you will see what I mean. for $135 .


  1. so much cool stuff
    i want to go on a trip
    it has been far too long

  2. Those are great for summer trips

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