Travel Tips | Pastimes, Itineraries and Audio

Sonia Gil gives you a little taste of some of the free and interesting things she receives every month. This month she shares a couple of great audiobook recommendations and how to listen to them with style. Sonia also shows you a wonderfully convenient website that does all the travel leg work for you.

We all fantasize about traveling, but we never seem to have the time or money to do so. Finding the time takes a bit more work, but finding the money is simple. If you follow these two tips, you will be ready and off on your dream vacation before you know it.

Tip #1 

Grab a glass jar and put it somewhere visible that you will see every day. Every morning, put $3 into the jar. In one year, you will have more than $1,000! Enough to take a lovely trip.

Tip #2

If you have a credit card, get one with travel rewards. Every dollar you spend should be earning you something, a mile, a hotel point, anything!

Call your bank to find out about their travel rewards program. If your bank doesn’t have one, switch banks!

This site is a great place to start researching credit card programs: It is a beginners guide to all sorts of things related to points and rewards.

If you are one of those people that like to leave packing to the last minute… LISTEN UP!

Here is a quick guide on how to pack for a weekend getaway in under 15 minutes.

Three Day Outfits

Altogether, these outfits should include:

- One pair of pants + 2 top options + 1 lightweight sweater

- Another bottom item (skirt or shorts) + 1 top option

Two Night Outfits

- Two night shirts/blouses (use with same pants + skirt/shorts)

- Jacket (that you will also wear on the plane)


- One day pair (that you will also wear on the plane)

- One night pair

Other Essential Items


- Socks & Underwear

- Toiletries

- Hair dryer (which can double as an iron)

- Electronics (phone/computer charger, surge protector)

Organize everything into one weekend bag and you are good to go!

We all have an opinion on airplane food.

As it turns out, people really like to talk about those opinions.

Who knew?

These two sites and are dedicated exclusively to airplane food reviews!

They’re helpful because you can search by airline, date, route and read customer reviews.

Here are a couple of things you should know about airplane food generally: In high altitudes, your perceptions of saltiness and sweetness drops by 30%! No wonder everything tastes like cardboard up there! No matter what, you will be better off bringing your own food. Pack simple things: nuts, dried fruit, powerbars, a wrap or even a sandwich! It will taste much better and be much healthier.

For my second “Finds of the Month” video, here are the three travel accessories that made it to my list of favorites!

Lewis N. Clark Triple Security Cable Lock

Yes, we all love to keep our luggage safe and secure. That’s why luggage locks are an essential accessory when we embark on any type of travel. But not all locks are made the same. This Lewis N. Clark Triple Security Cable Lock has double security, and therefore, gives you double peace of mind. This lock works especially well if you have a two-zipper bag. All you have to do is hook each cable onto each set of zippers on your suitcase and voila! Double lockdown mode.

The best part is, if you ever have to leave your suitcase unattended, you can wrap one end of the lock to your bag and the other end to a pole, railing, or something secure! That way, no one will be able to sneak off with it.

Warning: I would not use this lock to leave my bag unattended in the most questionable of hostels. This lock is perfect for an emergency situation where you have to leave your bag unattended for a short amount of time only.

Human Gear GoToob

These are my favorites! They do not spill, they are easy to refill and clean, and they come in all different shapes and sizes. They can be used for earrings, cotton pads, batteries, hair clips, pills, batteries, creams, soaps… the possibilities are endless!

Travelon Toiletry Sheets

Believe it or not, these are dissolvable toiletry sheets! These allow you to have body wash, laundry soap, body wash and shampoo at the palm of your hand anywhere you go. All you have to do is open up the container, grab a sheet (make sure your hands are dry!), put it in your hand, add water & lather up!

Warning: these are not the most frothy of products, but they do get the job done if you ever find yourself in an emergency.

Hurray!! Summer is here! As you start to plan those long adventures abroad, it’s time to start thinking about what you will be taking with you. No matter how tempting it is, DO NOT fall into the temptation of packing your entire closet!

I have spent extended periods of time abroad quite a bit. I have been in London for three months, in China for 6 months, and in France for 5 weeks. So, believe me, I know what I’m talking about. Here is what you need to do:

Step 1: Plan Ahead

Call your airline and find out how many bags you can take with you without getting charged ridiculous fees. Chances are, you will be allowed to check in one bag.

Also, Amazon International is your very best friend in this type of situation. If you have a delivery address where you are going, you can get basic items that tend to be larger online.These basics can include towels and linens.

Step 2: Toiletries

When it comes to toiletries in this particular case, you are only going to take enough for the first few days. This includes a toothbrush, your hair brush, deodorant, and other essentials you can’t go a few days without. The rest of the items, including shampoo, conditioner and body lotions, you can get when you’re already there.

Step 3: Electrical Appliances

Regarding your electrical appliances, the first thing you need to do is find out what the electrical current is where you are going. If the current is different than where you are coming from, you will be better off getting new appliances there. Running a hair dryer for long periods of time on a converter - it is bound to explode.

If you have any doubts regarding electrical appliances abroad, watch my video on electrical conversions:

Step 4: Medications

If you take any prescription medication, make sure to take it with you and to take enough supply to last you your entire trip.

Other medications, such as ibuprofen, cold medicine and vitamins, you can find wherever you are going. If there is anything you cannot live without, TAKE IT WITH YOU!

Step 5: Clothes

The first rule when it comes to packing clothes: you need a lot less than you think! Even in our day to day lives, we only use a small percentage of what is actually in our closets. Apply the same concept when packing.

You want to take enough clothes to last you 2-3 weeks total. Remember: you are going to be doing laundry (hopefully)!

For more detailed information on how to pack for long trips, check out my video:

Otherwise, here is a general packing list if you are going to go abroad at a multi-seasonal place.

For Summer:

- T- shirts
- Tank Tops
- Sundresses
- Skirt/shorts
- Bathing Suit

For Fall:

- Two to three good sweaters (sweaters are bulky! To pack these, use compression bags)
- Long sleeved shirts
- Button ups
- One multi purpose jacket
- Pants (Go lighter or heavier depending on where you are going. Preferably, choose pants that can be used for both day and night!)

For Lounging Clothes

This is the clothes you will use when you are watching TV, relaxing or studying. Whatever you usually wear for these activities at home - pack that! Lounging clothes should be comfortable and airy.

For Shoes

Do not over do it! Girls, this goes for you.

Keep in mind that you will be walking a lot during your time abroad, so your day to day shoes should be comfy. Booties are always a great choice for walking around and a pair of flats are great for more relaxed occasions.

If you are going to a winter destination, take your heavy boots with you on the plane! This will save you on a ton of space and weight. The same goes for your winter coat.

No matter where you are going, or for how long, the golden rule to packing is: STAY AWAY FROM “WHAT IFs”! Odds are, these “what if” items will come back with you untouched.

By popular demand, I have finally decided to uncovered my deepest, darkest, most riveting makeup secrets ever!

Just kidding. Unfortunately, I don’t have that many secrets to share. But because I tend to use very little makeup, the makeup that I do use, I LOVE! These items have been with me through thick and thin and I’m sure they’ll work just as well for you!


Even though I try not to use foundation due to my naturally oily skin, when I must, I use Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup. This foundation applies evenly, works wonders on oily skin and eliminates spotty areas.


I cannot live without my Clinique Airbrush Concealer! I have tried hundreds of other brands, but none have lived up to this one. It goes on smooth without leaving creases or white lines under your eyes. Also, even if I sweat, it never smudges or comes off! Bonus points! The best part: it has a reflective quality. This really opens up your eyes and keeps you looking fresh all day.  


I always go very minimal on the eyes. The only thing I apply to my eyes during the day are these Stila Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners. Again, these will not smudge! No matter how much I sweat, this eyeliner stays put. Best part is, when it comes time to take it off… it’s effortless! Also, they have a super thin felt tip that makes it easy to apply.


When the time comes for a night on the town, I might use some Urban Decay Naked Basics eyeshadow. It is a small, compact palette that has all colors I need to complete an awesome look!


This is a winner! For mascara, I use the Estee Lauder MagnaScopic Mascara. No matter how hard I try to get away from this mascara and try new brands, I always end up coming back to it. It doesn’t clump, it’s easy to wash off and, again, it does not smudge!


I like to go easy on the cheeks. For my blush, I use this Makeup Forever blush. It’s super small, compact and easy to carry! Best part it, their pigments are very strong and a little goes a long way, so these babies last you a very long time.


Now this… is my best secret. This product is a Peter Thomas Roth Sunscreenpowder! All you have to do is lightly shake the tube until you see powder come out, and brush it all over your face after you have applied your makeup! Voila, you are covered. However, this is not a sunblock you want to wear when you’re at the beach. This is just what I like to use when I’m out and about during the day.


For my lips, I always carry around this Vaseline Lip Therapy.These ones come with a little lip tint, which allows me to avoid lipstick altogether! Less things to carry around.