Travel Buyables: Comfy Flights!

So, while going through my stylefeed, I came across some products that are not only helpful while traveling, but money-saving, too! Some are even green, environmentally friendly. After all, budgets are sexy, and so is mother earth. Let's go on a trip, shall we?

On the Plane:
Sears has got this great bamboo (green alert!) blanket and eye mask set. Not so cheap, though, at $40. However, you can use the airplane blanket (if you can GET one), and get this neat eye mask from Perpetual Kid, no price listed, picture on the left.

In Your Hotel:
You made if off the flight and are settling into your hotel room, yummy. Definite must-haves include paper-thin, single use, solid sheets of shampoo, shaving cream, and laundry soap! One dissolving sheet is one use, and each comes in a pack of 30 sheets, for $6!
Now that you're showered, shaved, and laundered- get dressed for a day of exploring! But, wait- deodorant stains, ouch. Use this handy dandy tool for removing them, just $13. Last, not only does it meet TSA guidelines, but this solid block of lotion is great- it won't spill or leak. I actually never realized that solid lotion would be good, but my hands and face get so dry in the cold air craft air. And, now that I think about it- I DID get a huge family-size bottle of Johnson&Johnson's baby lotion thrown out of my luggage! Ugh, where were you when I needed you, solid lotion!!!??? :(

Out and About:
This is pretty neat. Instead of spending money on snacks and breakfasts, this bag (to the left) contains a bunch of breakfast bars, mini boxes of cereal, raisins, and granola snacks- currently on sale for $20. That's even great for a really long flight! A similar and probably more useful pack, by Minimus, includes a bunch of meds perfect for anybody away from home and not wanting to spend a bunch of money on pricey meds, also on sale for $20. It includes Alka-Seltzer, Imodium, DayQuil, Pepto-Bismol, Band-Aids, Benadryl, Tylenol, NyQuil, Simply Sleep pills, Blistex, Bayer and some sting relief ointment. As somebody who is always fighting with sinuses, a weak stomach, and headaches- this is brilliant!

Travel Info: Polaroid PoGo on Sale at Target!

If you remember a recent post I made about Polaroid's new hand held printer, you'll note that I placed the pricing at the bottom of the post. Unfortunately, my favorite retailer, Target, didn't have it on sale...then.

As I was thumbing through this Sunday's paper, what do I see, but the Polaroid PoGo on sale for $130!! Now's definitely the time, people! A pack of the Zink printer paper is $10. Go, Go, Go!

Travel Buyables: Travelogues & Journals

I save everything. Seriously, when I travel- receipts, movie tickets, metro passes, weird flyers I get from street-cornerfolk- everything! It's always fun to dump all that stuff out when I get home and start every sentence with 'Remember when..!'

I've recently gotten into the habit of taking a notebook with me, so that I can quickly recap the day's activities, and then stick the right receipts, bits of paper, polaroids or whatever within the right pages. When I get home, it's time to scrapbook the hell out of my travels! I just looked at my stylefeed and came across a few travelogues I thought were cute, and here they are!

1. Nomad's Travel Journal, $12
Why you need it: Incredibly simple, offering pre-filled out pages with prompts such as Traveled with, Method of Travel, Accommodations, Tick list, etc.

However: It's in a top-spiral notebook, so you can't really paste and tape a lot of stuff in it- a great notebook for the traveler who loves to write, not the one who collects scraps of paper to tape into books...

2. The Moleskine City Notebook, $18
Why you need it: Ok, these Moleskine people are pretty awesome! These notebooks are not generic, each one is tailored to a specific city: London, Paris, Prague, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, etc. Each includes helpful maps, metro maps, blank pages for your own notes and experiences, as well as tabbed sections for collecting things. So, you buy the book that matches the city you're visiting and voila! You create your OWN tourguide book

However: It's 'pocketsized' which means you may have to cram a lot of stuff in there, which would make it a less attractive memory book.

3. Fred Flare Travel Journal, $27
Why you need it: This is no child's notebook; it's 'heavy duty' and includes a cover-envelope so that you (ok, I) can store all those tickets, metro passes, receipts, etc in! It's also colorful and not as confusing as the Moleskine notebook.

However: It's $27 :(

Travel in Style:

So, in keeping with the clean, aesthetically pleasing appeal of my blog, I decided to do a little cleanup. I've removed the Schmapplet application as well as the travel photos from Bubbleshare from the right sidebar.

It's very important to make sure that you don't ruin your readers' blog-reading experience by forcing them to wait while various photo applications, music players, flash widgets- and other virtual knick-knacks load. I guarantee that they are not all useful.

Therefore, I got rid of those and made room for an application from StyleFeeder lets you create lists of items, merchandise and other buyables that fit within your personal style. The site then suggests products to you based on your taste and allows users to latch on and follow your style, if you're a trendsetter. Yep, I have ONE follower :) You can also connect readers to your style, or family to your wishlists by posting them via javascript code onto your blog, as I have done to the right.

What I feel this gadget will do is give me some cool travel-related products to tell you about. For example, we haven't talked about hand-held GPSs, travelogues, airline survival kits, or neat tech travel gadgets in a while! I'll be pulling the latest and lushest products from my stylefeed, yay!

Travel Buyables: Travel Toothbrushes

With current TSA regulations, I've seen a few people have their tubes of toothpaste get tossed for being over the 3oz rule. However, there are currently solutions that are TSA compliant, in the form of travel toothbrush-and-toothpaste combined toothbrushes! I recently bought a Fresh&Go, which you'll read more about below, but I thought I'd research a bit more and see if there were other option out there, too.

1. Fresh&Go's simple, non-electronic design is basically a tube reservoir of toothpaste that travels up the stem of the brush to the head, where it is dispensed directly within the bristles through a small hole, when you turn the little dial.

It's not the fanciest toothbrush, but the bristles are soft and firm enough to get the job done. The packaging says they're good for up to 30 uses- and at $2 at Walgreens, it's definitely worth picking up a few and just throwing them in your travel bags/make up cases. I've used it and I really do love it- the cap even has a small pole that plugs the toothpaste dispenser, so there's no mess when you put it away. Additionally, the clear plastic always shows you how much toothpaste is left. Neat. Fresh&Go's website offers children's brushes, the standard adult brushes, and since the product is made in Israel, a $10 pack of 6 brushes with kosher toothpaste, for Passover.

2. Next up, a more sleek portable toothbrush, by OHSO. This one looks a bit less functional, because of it's size, but basically, it is composed of a refillable chamber that screws onto the toothbrush head, and dispenses toothpaste through a rubber nozzle within the bristles. It looks like you can screw on a small travel-sized tube, but the toothbrush head is only Colgate compliant. A neat thing about the chamber is that there is a window that shows you how much toothpaste is left in there. It doesn't seem to be getting good reviews, though; and at $18-20, it's a pricey toy to test. The OHSO site also offers a clear version.

3. Last, the Sonicare Intelliclean 8300- is as fancy as it sounds! While this product has since been discontinued, as far as I can find online, I still see it in local stores like Target, Wal-Mart, etc. So, if you really wanted one, all you need is around $90-150. There are a few places online that have got it, here, here and even here, too. This product is definitely the Cadillac of 2-in-1 toothbrush/toothpaste technology- it's a Phillips Sonicare electronic, sonic toothbrush which is already fancy; plus it dispenses Crest toothpaste gel via small disposable cartridges you place in the brush. Do you feel your wallet emptying, yet? If I could afford this, I'd definitely get it- if only just to try it out!

Flashback Trip: Day Trip to Vancouver

While Kevin was up visiting me in Seattle, we decided to take a day trip to Vancouver, BC, Canada. Many movies are filmed there and lots of actors are born out of Vancouver, so let's be honest, I was pretty sure Kevin and I would be walking down the street and an unrecognizable director would stop us on the street and say- 'Hold the phone...I need you for my new film about two young, round kids wandering around Canada!'

Naturally, we grabbed Pete's GPS, no maps, and headed North. Right away, we had issues with the GPS system, so we turned on the camera to tape our issues and voila! It worked, watch here.

The day was grey, misty, and cold. We stopped at a place called Wins Inn for some lunch, which consisted of a grilled cheese sandwich, pea soup, and hot chocolate for me- and a sandwich, waffle fries, ketchup and coke for Kevin, in a town called Happy Valley.

We finally started seeing signs for the border and finally, after a few hours, some jamming tunes, and understanding the metric system, we were in Canada!! The first thing we did was find a local science museum, Science World, which was awesome! Check out all the images, they had a cool exhibit about sexuality and the human body- aging, muscles, the nervous system- very neat. We took pictures. of. everything!

After that- oh and by the way, we paid a homeless man money to give us the parking pass to park at Science World, he picks up valid ones from the trash and sells them to visitors- so after that, we drove around to the parks and walk paths around the city, it was very pretty. We even found a small amusement park that was absolutely empty- with totem poles and cherry blossom trees. To be honest, Vancouver was pretty empty, gray and boring. I was glad to drive back to the bumpin' US of A- besides, our 'Welcome to the USA!' sign was much better than the 'Welcome to Canada' sign...what gives, Canada!?

Tech Travel: Polaroid PoGo

I love Polaroid. I have a Polaroid camera that I still buy film for, even though it's nearly $40 for a pack of two film cartridges. I love snapping the pictures while driving around with my friends and then fanning them out on the back seat. Polaroids are the missing link between cataloging memories and the digital age.

Here's why: nearly everybody has a digital camera now, and so, they never feel the need to print out the pictures they take. How many hundreds of pictures do you take on vacation, versus how many get printed out and put on display? Not many, I'm sure. Polaroids would be a poor choice of camera, though, because you don't get very many exposures, the film is very expensive, and the camera itself is bulky and cumbersome to carry around. Until now!
Instead of updating the Polaroid camera, Polaroid has updated the 'instant photo' aspect, by building a handheld printer! It's called the Polaroid PoGo, and it's a small printer that connects to your phone or digital camera, and prints out the color images on special, peelable sticky paper. Each photo prints out in less than a minute!

So, when you're camera gets full, instead of sacrificing pictures, go back to your hotel and start printing out the pictures! You can keep a travel log book with you, or just mail them back to your home, and they'll be waiting when you get there! Pretty neat. I'm really excited about this because I'm always the one that takes pictures and I'd love to take a picture of me and stick it on my luggage, for example. Or just imagine, if I'd had the printer, I could have printed out that picture of me and Brian Setzer and had him sign it! Neat.

Money Card: An American Express Travel Game

Ok so I have found the perfect culmination of my two loves: board games and traveling. That's right, it can be done! I found a local antique stop, called Flo's Antique Accents, in Winter Park. The place was filled mostly with furniture, glassware, and other house decorations, so I immediately spat out 'boardgames?' to the attendant, so that he could say 'nope' and I could get out of there. The furniture cleaner/polish fumes were stabbing my headache in the nads.

Anyway, to my surprise, he said that while they didn't carry any in that particular store, they may have some in their warehouse, which stores all the items gained from the big estate sales they purge. He sent me about a mile away, to Flo's Attic, where they did have board games. Many. of. Board. Games.

So, long story short, after purging the shelves for complete sets of games, the attendant, a really nice young man named Nick, told me I could have ALL of them for $10! Another boardgame success story. I grabbed a few boxes, stuffed the games in them, threw them into my car- before Nick could change his mind- paid, and left!

There were some great finds in there, but the game that has to do with this post, the American Express one, is awesome. Check out the pictures below- the little plastic planes are adorable! You visit the different countries and do something or other- has anybody played this? Looks so fun! I can't wait to force my friends to play it with me!

Travel Planning: Seattle

So, you're going to Seattle. What to see? What to do? Like any big city, if you're me, you want to get three things out of your visit 1) pictures, 2) history, 3)board games. Ok, so maybe your agenda is different, but as you know, I'm not made of money, so whether you choose to do any of the things on my itinerary, just know that it was completed spending very little money (ok, just ABOVE very little). You can read day-by-day accounts of our trip on Kevin's blog here and here.

1. Visit Pike Place Market, free!
Fresh fish, salmon jerky, mini doughnuts, a creperie, and lots of photo opps- Pike Place is where it's at. All the restaurants have fresh seafood, and you can spend a few hours just walking around the historic area.

2. Visit Pioneer Square, free! and the Underground Tour, $12-$15
Did you know that at one point much of Seattle burned to the ground? Well, it did! You can take a tour that walks you underground, to the original foundation of the's creepy and ghostly and damp and cold- a nice break from the hot sun, any day! Plus, it's funny.

3. Mariner's Game, $6
The Mariner's Stadium, Safeco Field, is amazing! First, it's very, very clean. Second, it's outdoors so when the sky is blue, it's beautiful. Last, they have a neat program where you can bring in your Nintendo DS and watch the game on it, talk to other people via the chat about the game, and even order food- straight to your seat! We brought mine and used it, but it seemed weird watching a game when it was going on right in front of you. :) Watch for special days, too -We went on a day where the first 2,000 got 'soul patches!' Fun fun fun, and I bought a shirt from the gift shop for $6 (it was a children's size Large).

4. Visit local Breweries: Reedhook & Mac N' Jacks, free!
If you like beer and you like fun, find a brewery and take the tour. Redhook gives away shot glasses at the end and Mac N' Jacks gives you a huge glass- plus they both let you try their classic beers and teach you the history of them and the difference between ale and lager.

5. Visit the Electronic Music Project and Science Fiction Museum, $12-15
This place is amazing. I learned that in the famous episode of Star Trek where Uhura kisses Captain Kirk, it was supposed to be Spock! But Bill Shatner was like, oh hell no, I want that African Queen- that Nubian Princess! Music history, science fiction movies and books, instrument playing, learning about artists- it's very awesome. It closes early, so get there at opening time, and it's right by the Space Needle and Key Arena. You can't miss the EMP, the design is unique and it's a big gold and shiny red curved building.

6. Sample Local Stuff!
Drive around, drink espresso from a shack, stop at a roadside cider house, or visit one of the areas many ValueVillage thrift shops! This is where I have spent $50 and walked out with nearly 100 boardgames (WITH ALL THE PIECES!)

7. Day trip to Vancouver! I'll do another post about that, later :)