Travel Friendly Store-Bought Clean Eating Snacks

No matter where your travels are taking you this summer, you most definitely don’t want to get caught hungry and in search of healthy cleaner snack options. After all, nothing kills a good mood or positive attitude quite like a snack craving! Homemade treats tend to be cleaner, but I understand that making your own isn’t always possible in the rush of getting ready for a trip, so I’ve compiled 15 of my favorite travel-friendly clean eating snacks that are available for purchase. They’re all tasty, portable, relatively healthy, and kid-approved. Safe travels! 

clean snacks for vacation in a bagStore-Bought Portable Clean Eating Snacks

For better (and healthy) travel treats. 

Here are 15 clean eating snacks to shop before your next trip: 

1. RXBARs: There are a lot of protein bars out there, but these are some of my favorite to recommend (they were even in our wedding hotel welcome bags!). They come in delicious flavors from Chocolate Cherry and Blueberry to Chocolate Sea Salt and Mango Pineapple (and that’s just the start!)… and if you’re looking for something a little extra kid-friendly, there are four RXBAR varieties targeted especially for littles. This company is open about their ingredients, which include simple, clean items like egg whites, dates, and almonds. Throw a few of these in your tote for plenty of protein on the go. 

2. Meat Sticks: While we’re talking protein, we’ve gotta talk about meat sticks. There are few sources of protein better than lean dried meat, and there are few things that can serve you better while you’re traveling than protein! There are plenty of brands and varieties out there producing meat sticks for you to try, but The New Primal, Chomps, Epic Bars are three of my faves. 

3. Simple Mills Crackers: The Simple Mills company prides themselves on providing consumers with “nothing artificial, ever” — and if you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you know that’s a motto that I can get behind. Every Simple Mills product is gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and paleo friendly, including their wide variety of cracker options. Choose from Fine Ground Sea Salt Almond Flour crackers (perfect with a bowl of classic chicken soup FYI), Farmhouse Cheddar Almond Flour crackers, Smoky BBQ Cheddar Almond Flour crackers, and more. Bring a box along for the perfect bite on a long car trip, beach day, or extended plane ride. 

4. YumEarth: I’ve given you a lot of good savory options here, but sometimes, you just need to satisfy a sweet tooth! Enter YumEarth. This company uses super simple ingredients and has eliminated commonly problematic items like eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, soy, and wheat from all of its products. They’re also certified USDA organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan across the board. What’s your favorite candy treat? Lollipops, gummy bears, licorice, fruit snacks, sours, hard candies… YumEarth has you covered!

5. Hu Kitchen Dark Chocolate: Hu Kitchen is well-known for its lack of “weird ingredients” — but it may be even better known for how good it is! Hu’s 70% house ground dark chocolate is free of refined sugar, cane sugar, sugar alcohols, and dairy, but will still fulfill your chocolate craving in a pinch. Stock your suitcase with these so you’re ready for the inevitable chocolate fixation at any moment. 

6. Freeze-Dried Cheese: If you have yet to get on the freeze-dried cheese train, allow me to extend an official invitation to jump on board! Nutristore, Moon Cheese, and Augason Farms are readily-available brands that offer different varieties of cheese based on your family’s preference. Satisfy that craving for something cheesy while in transit without risking the icky, old cheese smell.  

7. Granola: I’m pretty partial to my own granola recipes (my gluten-free version with crunchy clusters and my Cherry, Coconut, and Chocolate Granola are both delish), but if you don’t have time to DIY pre-travel, there are a few clean varieties out there that you can buy easily.

8. Plantain Chips: These little beauties are rich in Vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and high-quality fats, which makes them an extremely well-balanced snack for travel of all kinds. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and can help support your immune system, which can help you stay healthy while you’re on the move. Amazi plantain chips are clean, simple, and just good. 

9. Healthy Chips: There’s nothing like the satisfying crunch of a chip to uplevel your snack game, and thanks to companies like Siete Foods and Jackson’s Honest, you can get that crunch without feeling like you’re filling your body with excess salt and icky additives. Some of my favorite healthy chip options are Siete Brand Tortilla Chips (I love the Fuego) and Jackson’s Honest Chips. 

store bought clean snacks in a bag for travelingStore Bought Clean Snacks

10. Nut butter packets: There’s nothing like a few perfect bites of nut butter when you feel yourself getting hangry, and thanks to brands like RXBAR and Justin’s, the snack is now available in a portable pouch for easy travel. You, your friends, your kids, and your partner are all bound to approve of this on-the-go snack. It’s a real crowd pleaser! 

11. Trail Mix: Trail mix can make a great travel companion for your hungrier moments, as long as you remember that not all trail mix is created equal! Steer clear of anything with unnecessary added sugars and lots of candy pieces (though I’ll sign off on a few dark chocolate chunks and dried fruit here and there, because… yum). Nuts and seeds are really the best route if you’re trying to stick to a fairly clean eating routine while you’re on the go. I like making my own and stocking up on nuts and dried fruit from Trader Joe’s for affordability, but you can find plenty of great pre-packaged options at stores like BJ’s, Costco, Whole Foods, or online, too!

12. Crispy Chickpeas: This is another snack that I typically make in my own kitchen, but it’s also available pre-packaged from brands like Biena! Chickpeas are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein, and when you make them crispy, they give you the perfect crunch. You’ll never crave a potato chip or cheese curl again! 

13. Simple Mills Cookies: You already know how I feel about Simple Mills crackers, and I’m an equally big fan of their cookie selection. This brand — again, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and paleo friendly — has quite a selection of cookies. You’ve got your crunchy cookies (Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon, Toasted Pecan) and your soft-baked cookies (a chewier take on Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, Peanut Butter, and Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut). The gang’s all here, and ready to tag along with your family no matter where your travels take you. 

healthy clean snack ideas for travel

14. Emmy’s Organics Coconut Cookies: While we’re on the subject of cookies, I’d also like to recommend the Emmy’s Organics brand. Their coconut cookies and chocolate-covered coconut cookie bites are ideal when you want a taste of something decadent, but don’t want to get too off-track with your clean eating. Emmy’s Organic uses non-GMO, organic, and gluten-free ingredients. 

15. Freeze-Dried Apple Chips: Get all the health benefits of apples in an easier-to-transport form with freeze-dried apple chips from Whole Foods 365 Brand or online (make sure the only ingredient is apples!). I guarantee that these will be especially popular with your kiddos! 

P.S. Don’t forget some fresh fruit that won’t go bad super easily, and can hang out of the fridge  like apples, oranges, and bananas.

What are your cleaner go-to travel snacks?

My Must-Have Travel Supplements

It’s hardly a secret that traveling can be rough on our bodies. Digestion issues, dehydration, and atypical sleeping circumstances… all of it can really add up! I’ve totally been there. Over time, though, I’ve worked out a travel supplement routine that makes traveling easier so I can actually enjoy it. With some help from my partners at Pure Encapsulations®, I’m thrilled to share it with you today!

vitamins for travel

My Must-Have Travel Supplements

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you already know that I don’t usually share my daily supplement routine. I make a random exception here and there (always for Pure Encapsulations®supplements!), but I tend to keep it on the DL. Here’s why: Giving you the details of my personal regimen would be doing a disservice to you, and I truthfully feel it might even be a little irresponsible on my part. Supplements are not one-size-fits-all! They should be used as needed based on what your body specifically needs at the time.

With that in mind, traveling is a beast, and I want to clue you in on how you can make it a little easier. Being on the go affects most people, and some (including me!) more than others. My MTHFR gene mutation and less-than-stellar detox system made travel difficult for me for years. Without fail, I’d get awful headaches, I’d be dehydrated and swollen — no matter how much water I drank — and my digestion would be off for days. I knew I needed to figure out a supplement routine to help with travel. I wanted energy, to be ready to go, and to feel my best. Who doesn’t, especially when they’re supposed to be having fun on vacation or trying to be on their toes for a work trip? I firmly believe that the system I’ve developed can truly help anyone, so I’m breaking my usual rules around opening up about supplements to share it with you.

best travel vitamins

I’ve partnered with my long-time favorite supplement company Pure Encapsulations® to bring you this post today, because you need to really know the supplement companies you are relying on. It’s important to understand their standards and quality. Personally, I don’t recommend going to your local drugstore and grabbing just anysupplement brand. If you’ve ever tried doing this yourself, you know how overwhelming it is… and the supplement industry is honestly saturated with products that don’t meet certain standards.

Enter Pure Encapsulations®I’ve used their supplements for years and I trust what they are doing, so when we decided to work together on this post I was THRILLED. Pure Encapsulations®partners with healthcare professionals to create the best products out there. They use the highest quality raw ingredients, hold themselves to rigorous testing and manufacturing standards, are free from common allergens and contaminants, and they’re non-GMO. I also love the fact that they’re local, based right here in Massachusetts! The list of positives goes on and on.

Pure Encapsulations®professional supplements are available for purchase through healthcare practitioners and independent pharmacies. If you are looking for a practitioner or pharmacy near you who carries Pure Encapsulations products, head over to their website and use their helpful Practitioner Locator Tool here.

Supplements in a travel case

So grab a trusty pill organizer, and let’s go pack our supplements! 


My 7 Essential Supplements for Travel

Food Recovery

Traveling is often a time when we’re having fun, trying new foods, eating differently than normal, and just living our best lives… but that can be tough on your system. I always keep enzymes or charcoal on hand in case I eat something that bothers my stomach. Your travel buddies will thank you for having these available if they end up with tummy troubles, too.

I bring: Digestive Enzymes or Activated Charcoal

Digestion

It’s well known and documented that travel can throw off your digestion. Ever go somewhere and not go to the bathroom for a few days? It happens. When we’re out of our usual routine and in a new place, we can throw our body off its normal rhythm.

I bring: Magnesium Citrate and a shelf-stable, non-refrigerated probiotic for travel (supports gut health and immune function)

Sleep:

Many people have a hard time sleeping away from their own cozy beds. I tend to struggle with this on the first night of any trip. Magnesium plays an important role in mood and calming, so I add a little extra to my supplement regimen — along with Melatonin — which can support your body’s natural sleep cycle.‡ Take both of these at night!

I bring: Melatonin and Magnesium Citrate

Immune Booster:

From airports and train stations to the planes and trains themselves, your immune system can take a beating when you’re in transit (and this goes for any form of transportation). Adding some Vitamin C can provide immune defense so you’ll actually enjoy yourself when you get where you’re going!

I bring: Vitamin C or Pure Defense which has Vitamin C, Zinc, and more!

Hydration:

Planes literally dehydrate us. For too long, I’d get off a flight swollen… and no matter how much water I’d drink, I couldn’t get myself rehydrated. Electrolyte packets have changed everything.

I bring: Electrolyte Packets

Stress Support:

If flying stresses you out, you better bring your adaptogens! Flying aside, whether you are traveling for work or on a vacation, stress happens. You’re worried about flying, concerned that things at home are running smoothly, and still focused on your email inbox (you gotta let that go!). No matter what your stressors are, an adaptogen like Ashwaganda can really help moderate occasional stress!‡ These are best taken daily on your trip, because — let’s be honest — the end of the trip can often be just as stressful as the beginning. It’s the ultimate Sunday Scaries!

I bring: Ashwaganda

Airport Detox & Overall Detox:

Supporting your detox pathways while on vacation or traveling is soimportant. Airports have a ridiculous amount of radiation and are generally chaotic, and beyond the airport or train station, you’re simply doing things differently than you do at home when you’re away! These supplements will support your body whether you’re eating and drinking differently, or even just off from being in a different time zone.

I bring: Liposomal Glutathione (helps support antioxidant defenses and liver health – our master detoxifying organ) and Detox Packs (super convenient and has B vitamins, omega-3s, NAC, l-glutamine and chlorella) which are so important for supporting your liver and body during travel!


vitamins for travelOther things I do while traveling:

  • Clean and wipe down my cell phone to boost immunity.
  • Get fresh air.
  • Stay active and move my body.
  • Hydrate (a reusable water bottle is a mustfor traveling).
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Eat well, but also live a little and enjoy!

Get more details about my travel routine on this post.


 Disclaimer: Always consult with a doctor before making changes to your supplement regimen, especially if you have health issues. Try out supplements before your travels if possible so you know how you react! Pure Encapsulations is a brand that I personally use and have recommended to you all for years (you should see my supplement drawer!) so I was so excited to be able to partner with them on this post. All opinions are 100% my own, and I’d never share something I don’t personally use or fully stand behind.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Beyond the Kitchen

Life Lately:

I have been traveling SO MUCH lately. I’ve missed you all! So, let’s catch up on recent travels real quick! 

A few weeks ago I was in Atlanta visiting friends and attending a Beautycounter event! I met these inspiring ladies that I am so proud to call co-workers and friends!

Atlanta


Then I was in Charleston with Cassy, Vanessa, Juli, and Stacy! Charleston is SERIOUSLY so cute. Here are some Charleston recommendations: Husk, Butcher and Bee, The Obstinate Daughter, Zero George, Fig, The Ordinary, Eli’s Table, 167 Raw, The Grocery, The Darling Oyster Bar, Cru Cafe, Another Broken Egg Cafe, Prohibition for cocktails and live swing music, Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar, Live Jazz at Bar Mash.

Charleston


Most recently, I was in Ithaca, New York (and I can’t wait to go back) glamping at Firelight Camps celebrating my good friend Gina and all of her hard work on her newest cookbook, Skinnytaste One and Done! 

Skinnytaste Ithaca NY

We had the best time, and I left inspired, motivated, and with a full heart from quality time with these amazing, caring, talented, and giving ladies! Check them out, and make sure to follow their blogs, too! 

Ithaca NY trip


Blog Posts I’m Loving From Around The Web:


Reading Now:

  • The Power of Vulnerability – Brenè Brown
  • The Silent Wife – A.S.A Harrison

What’s HOT on Pinterest:


Current Must-Haves & Favorites:


Quote of the Week:

“Even if — those two simple words have taken the fear out of life. Replacing “what if” with “even if” is one of the most liberating exchanges we can ever make.”


What You May Have Missed:


Current Deals:

  1. ButcherBox DEAL: New customers will get $25 off and a package of baconwith their first order! Ends 10/31.
  2. 25% off your 1st purchase at Thrive Market & a free 30-day trial with this link!
  3. Shop your favorites from Four Sigmatic& Use Code LEXIfor 10% off
  4. 10% off your entire first purchase at Primally Purewith code LEXI.
  5. 15% off any EverlyWell kit with code LEXI.
  6. 10% off Thermapen (our favorite kitchen gadget) through the weekend!
  7. $10 off your Fab Fit Fun box using code KITCHEN at www.fabfitfun.com!

Thank you for reading!

XOXO,

Lexi

Recapping Our Trip to Italy: Rome, Florence, Venice

I can’t believe how long it has taken me to write this post! I apologize for all those who have been patiently waiting for our Italy recap!!! We ended up going to Rome, Florence, and a day trip to Venice. If you remember, we were all booked for Cinque Terre but weather held us off from going so we quickly changed our plan last minute (travel pro tip #1: don’t be obsessively tied to your schedule)!

P.S. here is the travel camera and the lens that I used for all of the photography (note: this is a macro lens which I love, but that means there is no zoom, so you have to step further away from your subject.

Rome April 2018

Travel:

  • We took a red eye with Alitalia airlines, Boston to Rome FCO and arrived at 11:50 AM!
  • We flew home with Alitalia airlines,  Rome FCO to Boston, getting home at 6:20 PM.
  • We took the train from Rome Termini to Florence.
  • We took the train from Florence to Venice.

Rome:

Mike and I flew into Rome and really had so much fun exploring the city. We were there during the Rome Marathon so that was pretty cool to see. We stayed at the most gorgeous hotel, and did all the tourist-y things you just need to do your first time there!

Rome April 2018 Sistine ChapelSistine Chapel (shhh…)

Where We Stayed:

We stayed at the amazing Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Resort which is situated in a 15-acre private Mediterranean park, overlooking Rome and the Vatican City. It’s located in a prestigious residential area of Rome, just 3 km from the Vatican City and 5 km from the historic city centre and it’s numerous attractions. It’s a quick train stop or Uber ride to the center of things, within proximity to city center!

I loved this hotel so much. It’s the home of the famous La Pergola Restaurant & Bar, which is the only hotel in Italy to boast a Michelin-rated three star restaurant. The stylish roof terrace offers panoramic views across the city. We enjoyed an amazing dinner at L’Uliveto Restaurant, located at the hotel – overlooking the landscaped park and outdoor pool, this restaurant serves a full menu of Mediterranean and international dishes.

The hotel bar in the lobby served up the largest (and delicious) espresso martinis! The pool and spa were unbelievable, and was a total vacation in the hustle-bustle of Rome, since you are not staying right in the center of the city but for sure within proximity to city center!

Rome Cavalieri

What We Did:

  • We bought tickets (in advance) to a Roma vs. Fiorentina Futból game at Stadio Olympico which was SUCH a cool experience. It was really fun to see how another country experiences sports games, and it was kind of like how we do! Fun Fact: Different from American culture, nobody was drinking much or getting drunk at the game, but plenty of singing and cheering and fun all around, just like in the US.
  • We did the “Caesar Shuffle”, as they call it, exploring from the Colosseum to the Forum, Capitoline Museums, Victor Emmanuel Monument viewpoint, and Pantheon. We bought tickets to the Colosseum online so we were able to cut the line.
  • Vatican City — St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Museums, which was SUPER hectic, but special, since I studied Art History in undergrad.
  • We did what they call the “Dolce Vita Stroll” along Via del Corso (start at Piazza del Popolo and end up at Piazza Venezia for great sunset views) — also see the Spanish Steps while around there!

The Food:

Honestly, I don’t know if we did it wrong, because I’ve heard people love the food, but I wasn’t crazy impressed with the food in Rome as I was in Florence. Here are a few stand out spots that we loved.

  • Voglia di Pizza: Amazing Gluten-Free Pizza + inexpensive wine.
  • La Proscuitteria Trevi: Small hole in the wall with amazing chopped salads and epic charcuterie platters.
  • Dinner at L’Uliveto at Rome Cavalieri: This meal was amazing!
  • Dinner in Trastevere (area in Rome): I wasn’t in love with where we ate, but was in love with the area and recommend dinner and exploring the area.
  • Gelato For Days: Geletaria La Romana was pretty amazing!
  • Places we didn’t go that were recommended (not gluten-free per say):  Pierre Luigi Taverna Antonina, Spirito Divino, Ristorante Le Cave, Dar Poeta, Taverna Trilussa, Ginger Sapori E Salute, La Scala- Ristorante in Trastevere, Nonna Betta, Roscioli Ristorante Salumeria, Osteria Zi’ Umberto, Giolitti, Old Bridge Gelato.

Rome April 2018

Gorgeous Views

Rome April 2018

Coliseum

Rome April 2018Roma vs. Fiorentina

Florence:

Florence was hands down my favorite of the three places that we visited. I loved that it was a walkable city, unlike Rome where I felt like we were constantly Ubering (is that a word?) everywhere. I loved the food, the culture, the art, and the atmosphere in Florence so much. As I mentioned, I studied Art History for my undergraduate degree, and this was always a place I wanted to visit. In college when everyone went abroad, finances kept me back from going, so I am so grateful I finally was able to visit a place I learned so much about and really wanted to experience!

Florence April 2018Gluten-Free Pizza at Ciro & Sons — SO good!

Where We Stayed:

We decided to stay in an AirBNB, to switch it up from hotel life in Rome, and honestly, I regret it. I loved the location of our AirBNB (literally right down the block from the Duomo), but after walking around all day and having jam packed days and a filled schedule, I think it’s nice to come home to fresh towels and a made bed, you know? Especially since we weren’t planning on cooking in the apartment or anything like that. So if I were to do it again, I’d personally go for a hotel. Just my two cents. When I travel within the U.S., I love AirBNB, but for traveling abroad, I think I prefer hotels 100%.

What We Did:

  • Tuscany Day Trip:  We did this though “Tuscany in a bottle”, and did the Super Chianti option. This day was so amazing and I highly recommend adding this to your list of things to do while in Florence. We ate great food, drank great wine, and had a lovely day in Tuscany.
  • Academia (David) — make a reservation!
  • Uffizi Gallery (unforgettable paintings) — make a reservation!
  • San Lorenzo Market area, shop, and have lunch in or near Mercato Centrale. Shop the leather district!
  • Explore and shop the Piazza della Signoria/Ponte Vecchio area.

Eats:

  • Trattoria Dall’Oste: Amazing steakhouse.
  • Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco: An amazing dinner on the other side of the Ponte Vecchio.
  • La Giostra: Another amazing, romantic meal near the Duomo.
  • Ciro and Sons – Restaurant Pizzeria Firenze: We came here twice for amazing gluten-free pizza and food. The owners are unbelievably hospitable. I loved it so much!
  • Trattoria ZaZa: Get the truffle omelet and an Aperol Spritz or two!
  • Places we didn’t go that were recommended (not gluten-free per say): Acqua al Due, Gusta Pizza, Gusta Panino, Gusta Osteria, Fishling Lab, Il Latini, Sostanza, Brindellone, Oil Shoppe.

Florence April 2018 Ponte VecchioGorgeous Ponte Vecchio

Florence April 2018 EspressoEspresso All Day!

Tuscany Wine TourWinery Day in Tuscany

Tuscany Wine TourChianti Region Wine

Day Trip to Venice:

As I mentioned, we had train tickets and an AirBNB booked in Cinque Terre but last minute had to change our plan due to weather (bummer), however we made the best of it, went to Florence a few days early, and booked a train ticket for a day trip to Venice. Man, did that city blow my mind. The colors, the charm; it was truly breathtaking and so romantic. As much as I loved our day in Venice, I was content with one day there, and so was Mike. I didn’t feel like I needed multiple days, but if I did, I would have planned an excursion to see some Murano Glass!

Venice April 2018

What We Did:

Since this trip was rather last minute, we kept it casual and went with the flow (not my usual planner self), and it was actually so perfect. So while I don’t have amazing food recommendations for you, I’ll share a bit of what we did!

  • Gondola Ride: Highly recommend this!  We did this in the quiet areas of Venice and not in the crazy touristy part and it was pure magic. Our amazing Gondola driver sang beautiful songs to us while navigating the tiny water streets and it was so special.
  • Lunch: We stumbled upon a random restaurant and it was yummy. I’d do some research for food here. We just winged it.
  • Walked the entire proximity of Venice!
  • Gelato: I don’t remember where, we stumbled into a spot and it was yummy!
  • Rooftop cocktails and espresso by Piazza San Marco (overpriced but the view was gorgeous). We liked the quieter streets better than this area, though, as it was crowded and more touristy.

Venice April 2018


A Glimpse of Rome:

Rome 2018

A Glimpse of Florence:

Florence 2018

A Glimpse of Venice:

Venice 2018

Those who have traveled here, what would you add to this list of places to go and places to eat?

How I Plan Our Travels

We have a ton of upcoming travel this year from business, to wedding trips, to just fun destinations we’ve been wanting to go to! I thought I’d share with you a little insight to how I plan our vacations, and some resources that I use and love.

How I Plan Our Travels

 I am excited to bring this post to you today sponsored by my friends at Trip Advisor. Since I always use Trip Advisor as a resource for our trip planning, it couldn’t have been a more perfect partnership! All opinions are always my own.

How I Plan Our Travels

Where are we headed in 2016?

First, I am flying to one of my favorite cities, Austin, Texas, for a conference called PaleoFX! I’ll be doing some stuff for the release of my upcoming cookbook and am super excited to continue to eat and enjoy the Austin vibes.

THEN, I am headed to Puerto Rico with my girlfriends for my bachelorette party and some fun girl time!

I’m planning some local weekend trips for the summer, like Woodstock, Vermont, back to Portland, Maine, and little trips to put together travel guides of Boston and New York for you!

We’ll end the summer with our WEDDING, where we’ll then take a little mini-moon to San Fransisco, Napa Valley, and Yosemite. I’ll be planning a big Europe trip later in the year for this, too!

WHOA. That’s a lot of travel. Let’s chat a bit about resources and planning!

Travel Tips & Planning:

How I Plan Our Travels

Airfare:

The earlier the better, in my opinion! Do your research on where you want to go and when you are planning the trip. Of course, certain weeks are pricier than others, so take that into consideration. You can do some price comparisons but since airfare is always fluctuating, the earlier the better. If the prices go down, you can always call the airfare and often they will adjust the difference. Also, applying for a credit card that connects to an airline is a great idea. You’ll eventually have enough points to fly for free! 

Hotels:

I always use the Trip Advisor hotel tool for this! I really really do. It’s so easy to navigate and to do some comparisons with their PriceFinder. They have tons of pictures, reviews, and pretty much every detail you could want when searching for a hotel.

Things to Do:

I always like to plan some sights and restaurants that I want to visit. Whether it’s checking out more local, authentic spots, or visiting renown restaurants and sights, I always try to plan some of these excursions at least 2-3 months out. This ensures you get where you want to go! Trip Advisor honestly has amazing restaurant reviews, and I’m not just saying that! I think it’s a perfect restaurant resource when traveling because you get reviews about traveling and dining out, different from people reviewing a restaurant in their own city! You can even ask questions and get real live answers. So plan, plan, plan so you can enjoy and do all those wonderful things you’re planning on doing while on vacation!

Enter to WIN!

I hope those little travel tidbits helped! If you are in the midst of your very own planning for your 2016 travel, take advantage of Trip Advisor’s #BookToWin Trip-A-Day giveaway!

Simply book your hotel through Trip Advisor during the month of March and be automatically entered to win some amazing prices. For starters, 31 winners from every day in March will win $1,500 towards any getaway of their choice, anywhere in the world, booked on Trip Advisor! And one grand prize winner will win 15,000 towards their getaway! Not bad, eh?

How To Enter The Trip‐A‐Day Giveaway:

● Option 1: Book your hotel on TripAdvisor during the entry period and automatically be entered in the Giveaway.

● Option 2: Find your hotel on TripAdvisor, then click from TripAdvisor to book on another site, then complete the entry form.

P.S. Don’t forget these 11 healthy travel tips!

Healthy Travel Tips from Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Happy 2016 travel planning, my friends! What destination is on your list?


 

10 Things To Do in Portland, Maine in 24 Hours

Good morning! Did you catch my Instagram pictures from this weekend? We had an awesome 24 hours in Portland, Maine this past weekend. We loved everything from the food, the cocktails, to the boutiques, friendly people, and the scenery! It’s a wonderful little get away for us, being that it’s just a two hour drive from Boston. 

PortlandME2015_11

Before I get into my 10 places you must go to, let’s talk about accommodations and some other little details!

PortlandME2015_16

Where we stayed: 

We stayed at the Portland Regency Hotel & Spa, which is part of the Historic Hotels of America. They have valet for your car which you can come and go as you please, friendly staff, and tons of history! It was beautiful, clean, had an awesome bar called The Armory, and it is in the BEST location. It is right in the heart of all the shops, restaurants, and just exactly where you want to be situated for a night in Portland. Our room had a really nice balcony which you can sit at and enjoy coffee and a newspaper in the morning. Next time we come, we are definitely taking advantage of the spa, which has a sauna, steam room, and all of the awesome spa amenities you’d be looking for!

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 Portland is such an awesome city because within the 24 hours we were there, we felt like we knew already our way around! There is so much to do in this city. It felt like a smaller Boston with tons of character. P.S. They do have Uber, but with where we stayed we easily walked everywhere we wanted to go. 


Are you ready? 10 things you definitely need to do, plus some pro-tips to go along with it!

I recommend getting small plates or sharing, so you can check out a variety of places. Keep in mind that most places do not take reservations so be prepared for a bit of a wait. Also keep in mind that this is from a foodie perspective, so we did a lot of eating 😉

1. Have fries at Duck Fat

I wouldn’t go here for lunch (if you eat like me), since it’s mostly paninis. Their poutine and fries are worth checking out though for sure. Pro tip: While waiting, have a drink next door at East Ender. May I suggest the Lemon Drop Martini! It was one of my favorite cocktails of the trip.

2. Have a cocktail and a bite at Eventide Oyster

We ordered the Lobster Stew which I cannot wait to recreate. Mike and I agree this was definitely a favorite. He loved the old fashioned he ordered, and I got their version of boozy lemonade.

3. Grab a donut at The Holy Donut

The gluten-free chocolate sea salt is INSANE.

4. Walk around Old Port

There are awesome little boutiques, tons of fun stores to pop into, and of course more restaurants and unique bars to try. Milk Street, Market Street, Exchange Street, and Congress Street are where we spent most of this time. We liked Motifs for little fun gifts!

5. Pop into Central Provisions for a cocktail and a snack

We ordered the spicy raw beef salad and the bluefin tuna crudo- both were excellent! Mike had a Bloody Mary and I had one of their fun cocktails.

6. Head to Bam Bam Bakery for a gluten-free treat

We had the Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffin and it was delicious.

7. Head 20 minutes out to Cape Elizabeth and check out the gorgeous Portland Head Lighthouse and scenery

This is an awesome warm-day activity. 

8. Go to Vena’s Fizz House for a cocktail!

The owner Steve is SO friendly and will school you on everything you need to know about bitters in 20 minutes.

9. Have brunch at Bayside American Cafe (formerly known as Bintliff’s)

We came here Sunday morning before heading out. We got there around 9:15 and had a 20 or so minute wait. By the time we were there for 10 minutes, the wait went up to 45-1 hour! Get their early or be prepared you might have to wait! It’s worth it. We tried a few things that were all fantastic, but their homemade smoked salmon was out of this world.

10. Grab another donut at The Holy Donut 

Yes, I’m serious.

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Places we didn’t make it that we are definitely getting to next time: 

  • Boda (Thai) for a meal

  • Hunt and Alpine for a cocktail

  • Fore Street for a cocktail and food

  • I also heard that Grace, Street & Co, and Fifty-Five are phenomenal choices.

  • Another suggestion we received was to take the mailboat tour which brings mail to all of the small surrounding islands. We heard it’s really wonderful (and it’s BYOB), but it was a little too cold for us to brave. Plus, with only 24 hours, we wanted to explore the town more.

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This is not a sponsored post. We did receive complimentary hotel accommodations. All opinions are 100% always my own.

Have you been to Portland, Maine? What was your favorite thing to do?