One bag travel tips: a packing checklist for the minimalist traveler

Introduction:

There are two types of people in this world: those who pack their suitcase a few days before their trip and those who pack at the very last minute.

I’m the latter.

Laying down the groundwork for travel outfits a mere 12 hours before jet-set is stressful enough for the Fashionista.

I’d argue that tiptoeing around the suitcase weight limit can push the Procrastination Queen over the edge – especially if she has to pay an extra fee at the airport when her cup of coffee hasn’t pumped its way through her veins yet.

I want your blood pressure to remain ⬇️low⬇️ as you fly ⬆️high⬆️, Sugar, which is why I put together the ultimate, one bag travel tips as I pack for my 30th birthday shenanigans in New Orleans this weekend.

The one bag travel tips I offer below disclose my secrets for what the best suitcase is, picking out my outfits and toiletries, the choice between rolling or folding clothes, and packing a carry-on versus checking a bag.

*Disclosure: I only recommend travel-size beauty products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. 

For my dirty-30 trip to “The Big Easy,” I am flying Sun Country – an airline that allows passengers the option to carry one free personal item or pay for an overhead for $38. Similarly, you can check a bag for the same legal tender.

Normally, I would opt-in for checking a bag when flying Sun Country since the airline allows you to have a bigger suitcase and it’s the same price as a carry-on. However, I decided on a carry-on since we will be on a time-crunch to get to a cemetery tour shortly after we land. In other words, we don’t want to waste time waiting at the baggage claim in NOLA.

For luggage, you’ll want to resolve whether to rock a hard-side or soft-side suitcase. I would recommend a hard-side suitcase because they can handle a little maltreatment when traveling aloft or stowed down unda’.

Once you’ve selected your suitcase, it’s time for packing to commence.

Let’s break down what fashion and beauty items I’m smuggling across the Louisiana border with me this weekend.

One bag travel tips: my packing list

One bag travel tips | Packing checklist for the minimalist traveler |
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Photo Credit: Stock Image

What’s in my carry-on luggage

  • 3 t-shirt dresses
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 blouse
  • 1 jean jacket
  • 1 pajama set (t-shirt and spandex shorts)
  • 1 pair of sparkly rose gold heels
  • 1 pair of olive green chunky heels
  • 3 necklaces
  • 1 pair of rose gold hoop earrings
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • 1 bra
  • 1 white tank top
  • Bikini
  • Straightener
  • Curling Iron
  • Face Wash
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Body Wash
  • Floss
  • Tweezer
  • Razor
  • Compact hairbrush
  • Travel size hairspray
One bag travel tips | Packing checklist for the minimalist traveler |
Travel blog |

What’s in my personal item bag:

  • Cordless headphones
  • Glasses
  • Wallet
  • Sunglasses
  • iPhone/iPad charger
  • Makeup bag
  • Makeup brushes
  • iPad
  • Crossbody purse

I absolutely LOVE t-shirt dresses because you can wear them casually with sneakers during the day for exploring the city. Subsequently, you can doctor the dresses up with heels and jewelry when tackling dinner and drinks.

I notoriously sport the same outfit on my departure and arrival which usually consists of a ball cap, sweatshirt, yoga pants, and converse shoes. In the same vein, it saves me from having to pack an extra travel day outfit. Plus, we will have a washer and dryer at our adorable Airbnb.

If you’re going with a group of gals, you don’t all need to pack your own hair appliances. Sharing is caring!

I said it once in the blog post, “Travel size beauty products I geek out on,” and I’ll say it again: dry shampoo is my favorite when on-the-go. The BEST travel size dry shampoo product is by Batiste.

Other packing pointers to make life easier

There are few things more annoying than trying to balance a suitcase that keeps falling over because it’s too top-heavy. This is to say, make sure that when you’re packing that you place your heavier items at the bottom of your suitcase when it’s standing up on its wheels.

Get crafty with your space! For example, stuff your panties and socks in your shoes, roll your clothes, and take advantage of packing cubes. I use the Itzy Ritzy Packing Cubes-Set of 3.

You’ll need easier access to the items you’ll want to use during your time at the airport and while you’re in-flight. In short, make sure you place them in the outside pockets.

Put your liquids in bottles that are 3.4 ounces or smaller. Moreover, place them all in a clear quart-size bag. I use the MyGadget Travel Set Bag with 6 Bottles from Amazon.

Weigh your bag on a scale at home before heading to the airport. As a result, this will ensure your bag is under the airline’s suitcase weight limit.

handle of suitcase on street
Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata on Pexels.com

Here’s a not-so-fun fact for y’all:

25 million bags get lost every year at airports.

-BBC

If that doesn’t give you a swift kick in the ….

…..then I don’t know what will.

Keep anything you don’t want to misplace in your personal item bag that you bring with you on the plane. Most importantly, keep any personal identification, car keys, medications, technology, etc. with you at all times when flying. As a result, you’ll save yourself a lot of headache compared to the 25 million flyers who didn’t do the same.

There are times you may have to pack fragile items. Certainly, wrap it with bubble wrap or clothes that you are taking along for your trip. Above all, just don’t pack something you can’t fathom breaking.

Conclusion: One bag travel tips

My birthday wish is that I leave my last-minute packing tendencies behind in my 20s as I transition to being 30, flirty, and thriving.

In summary:

  • A hard side suitcase is almost always better
  • Choose a carry-on verses checked bag depending on how long your trip is, how quick you need to get out of the airport after you land, or based on the cost difference
  • Pack outfits that you can wear all day and night because you can dress it up or down with shoes and/or accessories
  • Wear the same outfit on your travel days
  • If you’re going with a group of gals, assign everyone to bring one hair product so that you’re not all bringing the same thing that takes up way too much room in your suitcase
  • Organize your suitcase with packing cubes and by rolling or folding clothes
  • Pack toiletries in travel-size, clear bottles and bags
  • Weigh your bag at home before heading to the airport
  • Place items you need to have access to in reachable spots in suitcase
  • Pack heavier items at bottom of suitcase where the wheels are
  • Always keep important items with you at all times and not in your suitcase

Do me a favor, would ya? Take these packing tips I just gave you and thrive right on with me, Baby!

Do you prefer to roll or fold your clothes when you pack?

Best travel handbags for the traveling gypsy

Introduction: Best travel handbags + backpacks + luggage for the fashionable gypsy

There are few essentials that I need when going on an adventure, and after writing my blog post, “Travel size beauty products I geek out on,” I thought it was important to create a list of the best travel handbags for women. After all, you’ll need somewhere to put all of those beauty products when your travel fever hits.

Some important features for a travel bag include anti-theft, the owner having easy access to personal belongings inside, fashionable, and something easy to carry.

Here is a list of travel bags for gypsy souls:

*Disclosure: I only recommend travel-size beauty products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. 

Best travel handbags: crossbody

1. Fossil Women’s Best Kinley Small Crossbody Purse

Best travel handbags: Fossil cross body

Brand: Fossil
Color: Black Stripes
Measurements: 8.63″L x 2.5″W x 7″H
Material: Cow hide genuine Leather & Fabric Crossbody Bag; Zipper Closure with Hidden Magnetic Snap
Exterior Details: 1 Back Slide Pocket, 1 Front Slide Pocket; Interior Details: 1 Slide Pocket, 1 Zipper Pocket

This gorgeous crossbody purse by Fossil is compact and easy to carry. If you have a big wallet, it wouldn’t fit in this bag. This is a great purse for those who don’t want to bring your wallet with you or if you have a smaller wallet.

2. Travelon Best Travel Handbags Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag (Black w/White Stripe – Exclusive Color)

Best travel handbags: Travelon cross body

Brand: Travelon
Color: Black with white stripe
Measurements: Strap Length: 25 – 48, Strap Drop Length: 16 – 27
Material: 900 D. Polyester

With this purse, travelers have the option to wear it on their shoulder or crossbody. Equipped with a zippered organizer with card slots, this purse has an adjustable shoulder strap. You can carry your glasses, wallet, and small camera.

Best travel handbags: backpacks

3. The Cheruty Store Women Backpack Purse PU Leather Anti-theft Casual Shoulder Bag Fashion Ladies Satchel Bags

Best travel handbags: backpack

Brand: The Cheruty Store
Color: Tan
Measurements: SIZE:(L) 12.6 x (W) 5.9 x (H) 12.6 inches, Weight:1.41 pounds. 10′ shoulder drop.
Material: PU leather, with Waterproof and Anti-theft function
Structure: 1 main zipper compartments with 1 interior zipper pocket and 2 interior slit pockets, 2 side pockets, and 1 front zipper pocket.

The multi-pockets in this adorable leather backpack would allow you to fit your 9.7″ iPad Pro, tablet, or a laptop 10″ and under, cell phone, umbrella, water bottle, house keys, and other small items.

4. Tzola Travel Laptop Backpack Water Resistant Anti-Theft Best Travel Handbags

Brand: Tzola
Color: Grey
Measurements: 19.29x 11.8 x 5.43 inch.
Material: Polyester Fabric

Tzola’s water resistant, gender-neutral backpack’s best feature is definitely the lock on it. The bag can fit your laptop in a secure compartment and has a USB and headphone outlet.

Best travel handbags: laptops

5. ZINZ Super Slim & Expandable 14-15 Inch Laptop Tote bag, Anti Theft Shoulder Bag

Brand: ZINZ
Color: White Peony
Measurements: 14.17 x 10.24 x 1.57/4.33 inch (L x W x H), External size: 15 x 11 x 1.77/4.72 inch (L x W x H).
Material: Water-Resistant Polyester

ZINZ’s floral laptop bag can be expandable so that you can carry more than just a laptop. If you’re wanting something that can be fashionable AND protect your laptop then this is a safe bet.

Best travel handbags: fanny pack

6. DONVITER Fanny Packs for Women Fashionable 

Brand: Donviter
Color: Black
Measurements: 8.66 x 2.37 x 5.5 inch (LWH)
Material: Waterproof Nylon

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but fanny packs are back in. This fanny pack by Donviter is big enough to fit my phone, mask, keys, a couple cards, and sanitizer.

Best travel handbags: suitcases

7. Away Travel Carry-On Suitcase

Best travel handbags: suitcase

Brand: Away Travel
Color: Pink
Exterior Measurements: 21.7″ x 13.7″ x 9″ Interior Measurements: 20″ x 13.5″
Material: Durable polycarbonate hard shell. Leather details, including a black leather luggage tag.

The best part about my Away Travel Suitcase is definitely the USB outlet. I hate being in an airport and not being able to find an outlet to charge my phone. The suitcase comes in many sizes, but I love the carry-on size.

8. Wrangler Smart Luggage Set with Cup Holder and USB Port

Brand: Wrangler
Color: Black
Measurements: 20″ H x 13. 5″ L x 11″ W, 6. 92 lbs.

This Wrangler suitcase has a cute drink compartment for when you’re lounging around at the airport and don’t want to put your drink on the floor. I love the black color on this suitcase so that it doesn’t get dirty.

Best travel handbags: duffelbags for women

9. BohoDesign Leather Travel Weekend Best Travel Bag

Best travel handbags: weekend duffelbag

Brand: BohoDesign
Color: Natural
Measurements: Large – 21.6″ x 11″ x 10″
Materials: Leather, rugs

Looking to get away for a quick weekend trip? This stylish duffelbag from BohoDesign on Etsy is handmade in Morocco. Keep the international shipping in mind if you need a bag fast. The rug fabric is personally handpicked from kilim rugs from local Moroccan markets.

10. 637Boutique Stunning Luxury Gold Satin Quilted Women Weekend Duffel

Best travel handbags: Weekend tote

Brand: 637 Boutique
Color: Gold
Measurements: 19 1/2″L x 10 1/2″H x 9 1/2″D
Material: Microfiber

All that glitters is gold, and this elegant satin handbag will make any traveler shine. This is another travel bag from Etsy, and buyers can customize the bag to have your name on it. There is a shoulder strap that can be attached or detached based on your preference.

Conclusion: Best travel handbags + backpacks + luggage for the fashionable gypsy

Whether you’re looking for a handbag, suitcase, laptop bag or more, this list should be a good start on your search. Anti-theft options gives the traveler more protection in the case of being in touristy locations.

Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat

Introduction: Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat

I swear to Cher ………… if I ever hear someone who has never visited Arizona in the summer try to justify the blaze by saying, “It’s a dry heat though,” …..I may lose my freakin’ marbles. With sizzlin’ temperatures that make it possible to fry an egg on the pavement, driving a few hours away from the Valley can be a major relief. That’s why I composed a list of the best day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat.

Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat

Sedona

2-hour drive from Phoenix

Chapel of the Holy Cross - Sedona - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
Chapel of the Holy Cross

Located 115 miles from Phoenix, the breathtaking red rocks and canyons of Sedona offer a perfect silhouette for those seeking a spiritual retreat.

Rumor has it that the tranquil city acts as a vortex – an earthy location that is a swirling center of energy. An energy vortex is thought to create strong spiritual experiences, which explains the high traffic of tourists seeking psychic readings, hiking-yoga meditations, and prayer near the Chapel of the Holy Cross that is built into the red rock.

I spent my 26th birthday in Sedona. Full-disclosure for those looking to get rowdy: the city doesn’t have much of a night life. Almost all of the restaurants close by 9 pm and we couldn’t find bars open past 10 pm. That’s another reason why the city remains so peaceful.

Deck from Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas - Sedona - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
View from the deck of Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas

We stayed at the Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas, and it DID NOT DISAPPOINT. We initially booked that hotel because we were broke gals in our mid-20s but I would book this hotel over and over again on any future trips.

Our pet-friendly room had a private entrance in the front, and in the back was a long deck that overlooked the red rocks.

For excursions, we ended up finding a deal on a helicopter ride through Sedona Air Tours.

Sedona Air Tours

There are a few different rides to choose from, but we went with the basic Bear Wallow Run which featured the well-known red rock formations. The tour was 15 minutes long from start to finish for $109 per person. Sounds like a hefty price for the short amount of time you’re in the air but it was

Worth.
Every.
Penny.

For those seeking to get active, visit Slide Rock State Park, Devil’s Bridge Trail, or West Fork Trail for some hiking. Spend the late morning/early afternoon sipping a glass of wine while listening to live music at Winery 1912.

Soaking up the view at Winery 1912

Cap off your day by dining at my favorite restaurants: your choice of either Tortas De Fuego Mexican Restaurant or Mariposa Latin Inspired Grille.

Sipping on a birthday margarita at Tortas De Fuego Mexican Restaurant

Flagstaff

2-hour drive from Phoenix

Flagstaff - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
Stock image from Canva

Home to Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff is the perfect spot for those looking to cool off.

Grab a beer in downtown Flagstaff, where you can see for yourself the historic charm the city has to offer.

For the adventure seekers, consider hiking through Coconino National Forest or participating in the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course where you can rock climb or zip line. 

There is a common misconception about Arizona that it’s strictly desert terrain, and the Arizona Snowbowl located a few miles north of Flagstaff proves that notion to be false. Located at the top of a volcanic mountain range at 11,500 feet, the ski resort allows visitors to snowboard, ski, grab a bite to eat, and browse the souvenir shops. 

Jerome

2-hour drive from Phoenix

Stock Image from Canva

Located approximately 100 miles north of Phoenix, the city of Jerome is known as the ghost town of the wild west.

The Jerome State Historic Park will show you the history behind the roaring mining community.

The copper mining industry left the town in 1952, which is when Jerome officially converted into a ghost town. Visit several museums like the Hotel Connor and Spirit Room, the Original Jerome Winery, or Bobby D’s BBQ Pit.

Prescott

2-hour drive from Phoenix

People often bypass Prescott for other major cities in Arizona, but the small town has so much to offer, including some amazing camping sites.

McCoy and I “glamping” in Prescott

My favorite spots to visit in Prescott include hiking Thumb Butte, visiting Willow Lake, biking the Peavine National Recreational Trail, and grabbing a drink on the historic block called Whiskey Row in downtown.

Page

4-hour drive from Phoenix

Page, Arizona - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
My dog, McCoy, on our hike in Page.

Officially my favorite location in the state, Page, Arizona, offers the most amazing landscape. The city has a population of a mere 7,000 and showcases Navajo culture.

Horseshoe Bend - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe bend and Antelope Canyon were on my bucket list, so I chose to turn it into a two-day trip. Page isn’t very far from the Grand Canyon or Lake Powell, so you can hit some major historic sites on your way.

Antelope Canyon - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
Antelope Canyon

Lake Havasu

3-hour drive from Phoenix

Stock Image from Canva

For a college spring break, I decided to see what Lake Havasu was all about and it did not disappoint. We ended up going wakeboarding and the breathtaking views didn’t let me down. Make sure to visit the London Bridge, the Desert Bar, or take an ATV tour.

Havasupai Falls

4.5-hour drive from Phoenix

Havasupai Falls - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
Stock Image from Canva

Located on the south side of the Colorado River and in the Havasupai Reservation, Havasupai Falls is considered by many to be the best hike in Arizona.

According to grandcanyon.com, Havasupai sells out within 30 minutes of reservations opening up for the year. You can hike or take a helicopter ride in and out of the canyon.

If you are going to hike, you must train for it as it takes 10 miles to get there, and another 10 miles to get back to the parking lot. The aquamarine waters paired with the red canyon backdrop make your long hike well worth it.

Stock Image from Canva

Conclusion: Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat

If you’re needing a break from the Valley, consider one of these seven, day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat. Whether you live an active lifestyle, are a foodie, or a history buff, every location will have something to offer a diverse population of tourists.

Here’s another article you might like: 8 expenses to cut out for more travel

Travel size beauty products I geek out on

Introduction: travel size beauty products

I’m often interrogated about what my favorite toiletries are when I travel – which is the kind of interrogation I rather enjoy. 😉

When catchin’ flights and not feelings on the reg, I try to pack everything into a small carry-on. I’m usually the chick at the airport that security asks for while yelling out, “Whose bag is this?” as they wave my black North Face bag in the air that is drenched in my Labrador Retriever’s fur. The only thing worse than claiming my fur-bag is having to toss out my expensive beauty supplies because it’s over the limit.

Here are my favorite go-to travel size toiletries that I’ve learned to just downsize instead of ditching my full-size products at airport security. Saddle up, Mamacita, let’s take a look at my travel-size beauty products.

*Disclosure: I only recommend travel size beauty products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. 

1. Batiste Travel Size Dry Shampoo

Batiste Travel Size Dry Shampoo
Batiste Travel Size Dry Shampoo

I’ve already said it in my post 10 best Amazon products for the chronically ill, but I think my most valuable hair product of all time is my Batiste Dry Shampoo. I have SO MUCH HAIR that it takes me a half-hour MINIMUM to dry my locks. When I’m on vacation, the last thing I want to be doing is taking the time to tame my mane every day, which is why this hair product comes in handy. I have black hair so I enjoy the divine dark color because it doesn’t go on white so I won’t have to take time blending the color in.

2. Bed Head Travel Size Hairspray

Batiste Travel Size Dry Shampoo
Bed Head Travel Size Hairspray

I am super picky when it comes to my hair products. This hairspray is one of the only hairsprays that actually works for my thick-ass hair. The bottle is 3 fluid ounces and won’t make you an airport security target. I’ve noticed the hairspray lasts me during an entire evening out which is what Mamacita’s need more of in their life.

3. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Facial Cleansing Towelettes

Travel Size Neutrogena Makeup Remover Facial Cleansing Towelettes
Travel Size Neutrogena Makeup Remover Facial Cleansing Towelettes

These little-itty-bitty makeup remover packages are too cute. When I’m traveling and hit the night scene, the last thing I want to do when I get home intoxicated is to wash my face. These wipes make me more likely to do so and my skin thanks me the morning after!

4. Conair 1600 Watt Compact Hair Dryer

Donair 1600 Watt Compact Hair Dryer
Travel Size Donair 1600 Watt Compact Hair Dryer

Yes, I know. Another hair product. What can I say? A woman’s hair is her most valuable asset. This foldable hair dryer is compact and doesn’t take up much room. Have you ever noticed that when you go with a group of girls on a trip that most of the people you go with don’t ever pack a hairdryer? That means four girlfriends are taking turns drying their hair with one dryer in the hotel. Nope. I’ve learned my lesson with that one and that’s NEVER happening again.

5. Evian Facial Spray

Evian Travel Size Facial Spray
Evian Travel Size Facial Spray

I cannot last a day through the airport without this Evian Facial Spray. My skin gets so dry while traveling and I love dousing my pores with this to refresh my skin throughout the day and keep me awake.

Conclusion: travel size beauty products

There you have it, gals. Up-keeping your beauty – especially when you travel – takes work! Consider these travel size beauty products when taking your next trip to make your life a helluva lot easier, you nomadic cutie, you.

Luxury hotels:10 seductive hotels in Thailand

Introduction: luxury hotels

Booking your trip abroad to Thailand can be overwhelming, but why should it be when the Southeast Asian country screams tranquility? From lush jungles that meet staggering beaches to perpetual wildlife that encompass wild elephants, you can’t go wrong with any of these luxury hotels of the world.

The first decision I always make when booking any trip is my hotel accommodation and when traveling abroad, I typically choose an all-inclusive hotel, which inspired me to assemble a list of dumbfounding luxury hotels in Thailand for you to consider

1. Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay

Luxury Hotel: Ritz Carlton Reserve Phalay Bay
Photo Credit: Ritz Carlton

Located in Krabi, this Ritz-Carlton Reserve provides you with an infinity pool with oceanside views. All guests experience personal butler service and the villas are equipped with a private pool and garden.

The hotel has claimed many titles, including the Best Luxury Boutique Hotel in Thailand in 2019 by Luxury Lifestyle Awards and made the list of Top 15 Best Hotels in Asia in 2019 by Fodor’s Travels Finest Hotels.

Luxury Hotel: Ritz Carlton Reserve Phulay Bay
Photo Credit: Krabi

Whether you’re craving Mediterranean, American, Thai, or other International fares of the world, the dining experience at Phulay Bay has you covered.

Start your days with a Thai massage at their 11-treatment room spa. Spend your afternoons either hiking through the jungle to the Naga mountains or taking a long-tail boat ride to Hong Island.

2. Banyan Tree Bangkok

Luxury Hotel: Banyan Tree Bangkok
Photo Credit: Banyan Tree

Located in the heart of Bangkok, this hotel is best known for its rooftop restaurant where you can dine underneath the stars while overlooking the bustling city. The hotel’s Moon Bar that is located on the 61st floor has made it on the Top 10 Rooftop Bars in the World.

There are several accommodation options at the Banyan Tree luxury hotel, with rooms ranging from 474 sq ft for a one-bedroom suite or up to 2,196 sq ft for a two-story Presidential Suite that offers panoramic views.

Take off on the Apsara Dinner Cruise along the Chao Phraya River, take a five-minute walk down to Lumpini Park to take a paddleboat around the lake, enjoy a couples massage at the Banyan Tree Spa, or take a water taxi to explore the city – maybe even winding up at the Chatuchak Weekend Market!

3. W Koh Samui Retreat

Photo Credit: Maps Design

This pet-friendly, 30-square mile luxury hotel offers 74 villas that are all equipped with private pools and views of the Gulf of Thailand.

Seascape Escape 4-Bedroom Villa
Photo Credit: The Marriott

Explore all that Koh Samui has to offer. Known for its white sandy beaches, dive into the culture of the city by visiting Angthong National Marine Park. There, you can explore some of the 42 islands by scuba diving, snorkeling, or kayaking. The Big Budha Temple, built-in 1792, is another major attraction for visitors that come from every corner of the world..

On-site activities at the W include the state-of-the-art FIT Gym and the Away Spa. You can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a cocktail at WOOBAR, NAMU, or SIP bar.

4. Lebua at State Tower

Luxury Hotel: The Lebua at State Tower

Receiving second place in Travel + Leisure USA’s “Worlds Best Hotels 2020”, the Lebua at State Tower luxury hotel offers every visitor a room with a suite, with private balconies to enjoy the vibrant city lights of Bangkok included.

Their website states that,

“Bar-hopping isn’t door to door, but floor to floor,”

with restaurants and bars throughout the hotel’s floors. Experience fine-dining under the stars at their rooftop restaurant on the 63rd floor called Sirocco or belly up to the bar on the 51st floor at Lebua No. 3, named the world’s tallest gin, caviar, and vodka bar.

Explore nearby attractions like the famous Jim Thompson House of the Bangkok Art and Culture Center which are only a few train stops away from Lebua at State Tower.

5. Six Senses Yao Noi

Photo Credit: Six Senses

Enjoy the forest and bay scenery at your private infinity pool villa suites, ranging from one to four bedrooms at Six Sense Yao Noi.

With four different hotel restaurants to choose from, a Six Senses Spa to find your zen, or a Watersports Center, you won’t ever have a boring moment on this island retreat. Explore the local caves and lagoons by kayak or visit a rubber tree plantation if you want to get away from the hotel for a day.

Peak season at this luxury hotel is from October to April but there’s never a bad time to visit.

6. SALA Samui Choengmon Beach

Luxury Hotels: SALA Samui Resort
Photo Credit: SALA

Don’t namaste-in-bed all morning and enjoy the complimentary yoga offered at SALA Samui Resort every morning from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Explore Choengmon Beach by kayak or paddleboard, get your cardio on at the gym on-site, and enjoy on the beach under the stars. The hotel also offers cooking classes and private island tours at an additional cost for guests.

Photo Credit: SALA

Wine and dine at the SALA Samui restaurant or the beach bar or enjoy Italian eats at Pangaea. Private dining beach-side is also offered.

Most villas are equipped with a private pool and an outdoor shower and daybed.

7. Keemala Resort

Luxury Hotel: Keemala Resort
Photo Credit: Keemala

The Birds Nest Pool Villa’s that are offered by Keemala Resort were inspired by the Rung-Nok Clan (Nest Clan). The Nest Clan was a group of people including artists, musicians, astrologers, philosophers, and poets, and were seen as more superior and creative than others. Their creativity and desire to be exclusive is what prompted the design of these nests.

The resort includes private pools, the MALA spa, several dining locations, and a MALA bar to enjoy sunset cocktails.

Photo Credit: Keemala

Although the resort is nestled in the forest, there are several beaches close by including Kamala Beach, Patong Beach, Laem Singh, Nai Thon, and Mai Khao Beach.

8. COMO Point Yamu

Photo Credit: COMO Point Yamu

Look out your floor-to-ceiling window in your luxury hotel villa at Cape Yamu to the Andaman Sea at COMO Point Yamu Resort, located on the eastern peninsula of Phuket. 

Enjoy Thai cuisine at Nahmyaa restaurant or Italian cuisine at La Sirena. On the first Saturday of every month, the hotel features a Wellness Brunch that is poolside which begins with a yoga session, transitions to mini-massages, and ends with a well-balanced, delicious meal. 

Photo Credit: COMO Point Yamu

Experience Phuket’s jungles by going on an ATV tour, dive into the Khai Islands to go snorkeling or take a hike at one of the three routes near the resort. 

9. Banyan Tree Phuket

Luxury Hotels: Banyan Tree Phuket
Photo Credit: Banyan Tree Phukut

If a romantic getaway is what you’re seeking, then this 5-star Banyan Tree Phuket resort burrowed on the white sands of Bang Tao Beach is for you. 

Plunge in Thai fare on the Sanya Rak Dinner Cruise and take a walk on the beach at sunset. 

You have the choice between one, two, or three-bedroom villas that feature private pools and greenery for up to six guests. 

Photo Credit: Banyan Tree Phuket

You can enjoy dinner and drinks between six restaurants and two bars, featuring fresh seafood and a variety of cultural cuisines. 

10. The Shore at Katathani

Photo Credit: The Shore at Katathani

The Shore at Katathani is another luxurious oasis that offers villas with private pools and panoramic sea views. Every room offers a bathroom with a rain shower, a lounge, with contemporary designs that have a touch of oriental representation.

The Harbor Restaurant, located inside the hotel, offers American breakfasts and your choice of organic, Thai, and international cuisines for lunch and dinner.

Located 20 minutes South of Patong Beach and 50 minutes from Phuket, The Shore at Katathani offers guests an unforgettable experience by the sea.

Photo Credit: The Shore at Katathani

Conclusion

Regardless of what city you choose to visit in the Land of Smiles, you can’t mess your trip up with these top 10 luxury hotels. From Bangkok to Phuket and beyond, the friendly locals will welcome you with open arms as you see for yourself the wonders of Thailand that everyone’s been raving about.

Travel jobs for full-time nomads

Introduction: Travel jobs for full-time nomads

Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, travel jobs progressed in its popularity. Traveling to see the world before retirement is not only possible but a common theme between millennial’s.

People often ask me how I’m going to afford to travel the country while living in an RV full-time. That’s why I decided to put together a list of ways you can bring home the bacon, and eat it, too!

The following travel jobs will show you the best ways to make money while traveling full-time:

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. 

Travel jobs for full-time nomads

1. Reseller

Visit thrift stores in the cities that you travel to. Flip those items for some serious profit by selling them on websites like Mercari, eBay, and Poshmark (If you sign up for Poshmark, use my affiliate code VALLEYGLOWGIRL for a $10 credit to shop).

If you’re nervous to invest money upfront to buy items to sell, just start with your personal closet! The items that I have found that sell quickly are furniture, women’s jeans, and women’s shoes. My biggest profit when reselling was finding a pair of new Sorel boots at a Goodwill Outlet store. I purchased them for $8 and sold them for $150. Yes, you read that right.

To become a reseller, you would need access to a printer for your shipping labels for when you sell something and to be near a USPS or UPS store.

2. Photographer

Being a photographer is a great option if you're looking for travel jobs.
The average salary of a travel photographer is approximately $62,000. Photo by Casia Charlie on Pexels.com

If you have a passion for photography then why not capture the beauty of the Seven Seas and get paid a decent wage for it?

To convert your dream into a reality, take photos of the destinations you travel to. Post them to your social media accounts. Traveling photographers also get paid by teaching photography online, writing or blogging about photography, or selling their photos online on stock images or news websites. This is one great option if you’re looking for travel jobs.

3. Freelance Writer

My current, pre-nomad, writing desk. Meet my pup, McCoy!

Writers can earn some serious dough-on-the-go by writing from or about all of the places they visit. This can be done in the form of blogging, reporting for news agencies, ghostwriting, or content writing, among others. I utilize the website called Upwork to establish most of my clients. I have the ability to conduct all of my interviews over the phone or Zoom.

Affiliate marketing and advertisements are the top ways for bloggers to make an income.

4. Graphic Designer

Become a graphic designer if you're looking for travel jobs
Graphic Designers can sell printable on websites like Etsy. Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com

The average salary for a graphic designer is $46,000. This may not sound like a lot, but when you are boondocking out of an RV and not paying rent that’s some serious cash.

Create and sell templates or printables. Start a design consulting firm while you’re living as a nomad. Fiverr and Flexjobs are a couple of places to find these contracts as a freelancer in this niche.

5. Underwriter

calculator and notepad placed over stack of usa dollars
Underwriting is a perfect position for those seeking remote work. Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Most underwriters work independently without having to talk to any clients, and many can work remotely because of this!

Organizations are hiring people for remote positions as an underwriter to analyze risk and data when someone applies for a loan.

The best websites to find a position in underwriting include LinkedIn and Indeed.

6. Personal Assistant

Being a personal assistant is great if you're looking for travel jobs.
A personal assistant often works for business executives, performing various tasks. Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

As a remote personal assistant, you get to work from wherever you are to perform administrative and clerical tasks for individuals like a business owner or a working professional. A personal assistant can typically answer phone calls and emails, schedule appointments, and make travel arrangements.

Some great websites to find a job as a personal assistant are FancyHands, VA Networking and oDesk.

7. Teach English

focused asian girl carefully listening explanation from teacher during remote studies
VIPKID makes it possible to teach English to students virtually. Photo by Katerina Holmes on Pexels.com

Traveling while teaching English is possible by either moving abroad or teaching virtual classes through websites like VIPKID.

If you choose to go through the route of teaching English virtually, you can sign up for a website to help parents teach their kids through homeschooling, homework assignments, exam prep, or other school-related work.

Teach Away and Go Abroad are great websites to locate International jobs to teach English.

8. Customer Service Representative

photography of woman using laptop
Customer service representatives have the opportunity to work from where they please by answering phone calls or typing via chat to customers. Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

Work and travel as a customer service representative for companies like Home Depot, American Airlines, or Amazon.

Job duties include interacting with customers via phone or chat to address complaints, answer questions, and provide information on services.

To find customer service job vacancies, visit Upwork, FlexJobs, and Virtual Vocations.

9. Travel Nurse

Travel jobs: travel nurse
A Travel Nurse can seek short-term assignments away from home to get their travel-fix. Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

As a travel nurse, you can practice your medical expertise on short-term assignments that can take you across the globe. Nurses can start this endeavor by researching travel nursing companies like Travelnursing.com and working closely with a recruiter.

It’s possible to see a wage of $50 an hour with housing accommodations paid for by the hiring company.

10. Transcriptionist

Travel jobs: transcriptionist
Stock image

Rev and TranscribeMe are a couple of websites that I’ve had success with in the past as a virtual transcriptionist.

Transcribers produce written transcriptions of audio or video by listening to the audio and converting it to text. The best part is that you have the opportunity to transcribe some pretty fascinating conversations. I once transcribed audio of former NFL player and convicted murderer, Aaron Hernandez’s, conversations while he was in prison waiting for his trial.

11. Data Entry

Travel jobs: data entry
Entering data into a database is the main duty of working in data entry. Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

This job is perfect for someone who likes to mostly keep to themselves while performing work duties.

Working in data entry requires the preparation and sorting of documents and entering that data into a database.

Individuals can find work in data entry on websites like Upwork.

12. Podcaster

person in pink hijab holding microphone
Podcasters main form of income is through advertisements on their podcast. Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Advertisements are the most effective way to earn an income while podcasting, followed by affiliate marketing and selling products or services.

Andy Steves is one podcaster that talks about his travel adventures on his podcast called The Andy Steves Travel Podcast while interviewing other like-minded gypsies that share their own stories of adventure.

The salary of a podcaster varies greatly, but some can make a six-figure salary. It is all dependent on the downloads and sales made.

13. Cruise Ship

sea holiday vacation blue
Excessive hours is one disadvantage to working on a cruise ship. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you want to get paid and travel free, consider working on a cruise ship. Job vacancies in this sector include wait staff, chef, bartender, musician, comedian, dancer, medical staff, and so on.

Working on a cruise ship isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. Long hours and being gone for months on end are common disadvantages to the job but are often outweighed by the free food and lodging benefits.

Some major cruise lines to work on are Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise, Carnival Cruise, and Disney Cruise.

14. Work on a private yacht

man underwater with white yacht beside
Blue Water Yachting is one website to find yacht positions. Photo by Jeffrey Czum on Pexels.com

I had friends in college that worked as a server for rich families on their private yachts. They would only be required to serve them at dinner time by delivering meals to the table and making sure their drinks were full. During their downtime, they would lay out in their bikinis and go sight-seeing when the yacht was tied up to land – and they made a six-figure salary while doing it!

Blue Water Yachting and YACREW are a couple of websites to find vacancies to work on a private yacht.

15. Poker Player

ace bet business card
There are only four states in the U.S. that allows earning an income from online poker playing. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Poker players often compete in tournaments located all over the country. One drawback to this is that it’s a big risk and an easy way to lose a lot of money.

If you’re confident in your poker skills, consider signing up for a tournament out of state if you want to scratch your travel itch.

Book a flight to New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, or Delaware if you are interested in virtual poker playing, as they are the only states in the U.S. that legalize making money while playing poker online.

16. Flight Attendant

A flight attendant position is a great option for those looking for travel jobs.
Photo by Sheila on Pexels.com

My love for tattoos has always prevented me from being a flight attendant, as most major airlines won’t hire employees with visible ink.

Not only does becoming a flight attendant allow you and your family to fly for free, but it comes with additional benefits like flexible hours once gaining seniority and no need for a specific degree.

Start by searching online on Google for airlines that are currently hiring flight attendants.

17. Musician

Being a musician is a great option for those looking for travel jobs
Me performing at a gig at Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar in Scottsdale, Arizona

Making money while traveling as a musician doesn’t just stop at touring or performing gigs at bars. Performers can also make a living from tasks like teaching music lessons, freelance songwriting, or starting a YouTube channel.

I made money often on Upwork from odd jobs like singing for someone who was looking for a female voice for a verse in one of his songs. If you look hard enough, you can find ways to get paid by sharing your musical talent.

18. House Sitting

cute dachshund sitting on sofa at home in
The average annual salary for a house sitter is $56,339. Photo by Skylar Kang on Pexels.com

Picture this: you are sitting in a mansion in Sedona, earning money for your travel job by watching Netflix with a Golden Retriever puppy cuddled up next to you. This can become your reality by traveling to different destinations to house sit!

Trusted Housesitters and Nomador are websites to find house sitting jobs, where you can make an average annual salary of $56,339.

19. Au Pair/Nanny

Travel jobs
Being an Au Pair allows you to enjoy the perks of free accomodation’s, food, and travel while receiving an allowance. Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

Being an Au Pair typically means you get paid paired with free food, accommodation, and travel. Although it isn’t always a requirement, it’s good to have previous childcare experience to make landing a job easier.

Many families that hire an Au Pair will even pay for their Au Pair’s plane ticket to start the job. Once there, the Au Pair has the opportunity to learn a new language and travel on trips on the family’s dime to other international locations.

Search for Au Pair positions by visiting websites like Great Aupair, Au Pair International, and Au Pair 4 Me.

20. Social Media Influencer

Travel Jobs
Social media influencers often promote clothing, food, and hotel products. Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels.com

The average social media influencer can take home an annual salary between $30,000 and $100,000. That’s some serious cash for taking some cool pictures after receiving discounted or free products to promote. Products are often clothing, food, and even hotels, which makes this one of the amazing options out of all of these travel jobs.

The more social media followers someone has, the more likely they are to receive a higher salary as a social media influencer. Huda Kuttan is the highest paid social media influencer with 41 million followers and makes an average of $91,300 per post! That should be enough to fill the piggy bank for endless travel!

For someone to become a social media influencer, it all starts with gaining followers. To do this, they need to find their niche and understand their audience. After that, creating relevant content (I utilize Canva to create social media posts and use a preset filter on Etsy to filter the photos I take) regularly and engaging with commenters is key. Reaching out to brands to let them know you are open to promoting their brand is a gateway to getting paid in doing so.

Conclusion: Travel jobs for full-time nomads

If you want to travel and get paid to do it you have to be open to a career that will make this possible with one of these travel jobs.

Financing yourself while being a wanderer with one of these travel jobs will help leverage your travel experience in ways you never thought possible.

Chronically ill? Top 10 Amazon products for relief

*Disclosure: I only recommend products for the chronically ill that I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. 

Introduction: Best Amazon products for the chronically ill

When you’re suffering from a chronic illness, you just can’t quite get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Inflammation and pain become your everyday companion. If you push yourself past your limits, you end up with a flare that can leave you bed-ridden for days.

Although most of us can’t afford to take off work or suffer in bed all day, most of us can afford to spend the initial investment on products to make us look and feel our best. That’s why I came up with a list of 10 of my favorite items to help you on your journey to look and feel your best. 

List of top 10 Amazon products for the chronically ill

1. Batiste Dry Shampoo

Batiste hairspray is valuable for the chronically ill who can't wash their hair everyday.

When you suffer from a deliberating disease or illness, you may find yourself hitting the snooze button too many times, creating a pattern of tardiness to whatever commitments you have scheduled. The clean and clear scent will prevent waves of nausea that may get in your way throughout your usual everyday life. I use the dark deep brown color so that it isn’t white when it’s applied and it has been a game-changer!

2. Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier Electrolyte Powder Packets

Liquid IV packets are great for the chronically ill who need a boost in their hydration.

Dealing with autoimmune issues or just being sick in general makes fluid-retention almost impossible. When I was getting treated at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, my panel of doctors recommended this over Pedialyte. This electrolyte drink has an excellent flavor and utilizes cell transport technology, providing hydration to your blood flow efficiently than if you were to drink just water alone.

My favorite flavors are the Passion Fruit and Strawberry that come in the 30-ct because I use them all in a month timeframe. If you’re not sure or want to do multiple flavors they also have the Passion Fruit 16-Ct and the Strawberry 16-Ct. Other flavors available are Acai BerryLemon Lime, and Tangerine

3. Acupressure Mat

The acupressure mat is great for chronically ill patients who are looking for some tension relief.

Acupressure is an ancient Chinese therapy that is being replicated with the acupressure mat! The great thing about this is that you don’t have to pay a professional for acupressure treatments that can drain your bank account.

Laying on the mat relieves pain within minutes, produces “feel good” endorphins, lowers blood pressure, relaxes muscles, and improves sleep, among other benefits. If I am struggling with an anxiety attack, I lay down on this mat and find my zen within minutes. 

4. Weighted Blanket

The weighted blanket is an at-home therapy that can provide benefits similar to the acupressure mat. Some individuals may be sensitive to the “nail of beds” that the acupressure mat provides so this may be a better alternative.

You can’t go wrong with having both, as my blanket doesn’t do as good of a job as my acupressure mat does at relieving my muscle tension. Admittedly, I have an addiction to my weighted blanket and can’t sleep without it now!

5. Roomba Vacuum

Cleaning can be nearly impossible when you are suffering from even simple tasks like showering. The benefits of a Roomba are that it saves you time throughout your day, it’s easy to use, it can work on different surfaces, and it can detect all levels of dirt. I enjoy the iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum because I have a Labrador Retriever and he sheds like crazy. This is designed for pet hair.

6. Zero Gravity Chair

Sitting in a zero gravity chair puts your body in a neutral position so that your feet and heart are in alignment with each other. Being elevated in this position decompresses your spine and assists with blood flow. If you are someone who gets lightheaded or has swelling in your lower extremities this chair is perfect for you. I have this set of two in black that comes with the head pillow and cup holder!

7. Stainless Steel Water Bottle

I am the type of person who only drinks water if it’s ice-cold, which can get dangerous if I’m struggling to retain water as it is. I have found that my water bottle keeps my water cold throughout the day and I sleep with it in my bed so that I can sip throughout the night.

Guess what?

It’s still cold in the morning when I wake up. I didn’t want to splurge on a Yeti so I bought a simple modern one.

8. Peppermint Roller

The peppermint roller is great for the chronically ill who suffer from nausea.

My Peppermint Essential Oil Roll-On is small and something I can easily throw in my purse. I use this roller and put it under my nose when I’m struggling with nausea or on my temples when I’m suffering from a migraine. You can also roll directly on a sore muscle for pain relief. 

9. Foot Massager

I purchased the Nekteck Foot Massager because I struggle with poor circulation and muscle pain. When I would get home at night I would use this while I sat on the couch for 15 minutes. After a few days, I noticed a huge improvement in my foot and overall leg pain. 

10. Self-Massage Hook

My chiropractor recommended I get this massager to put on the back of my desk chair at home. When I’m at my computer writing I tend to slouch which creates havoc on my upper back and shoulders. I use this hook to relieve tension in hard-to-reach areas and it has been life-altering!

Conclusion: Best Amazon products for the chronically ill

Making that upfront investment for self-care is important for your long-term well-being. It doesn’t hurt that Amazon delivered these products right to my door so that on the days that I was feeling my worst I didn’t have to go to the store. It’s better to be prepared and have the items that work best for you before a flare strikes.

Moving to San Diego? Read this first

Introduction: moving to San Diego

The bustling city of San Diego provides you with year-round beautiful weather, top school districts, exciting nightlife, and home to the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. With the endless opportunities that are available, no question that moving to San Diego is a great decision for those seeking a city that provides them with a never-ending adventure.

Squash whatever navigation you’ve been reading because this is the “real” San Diego guide. 

Moving to San Diego

Neighborhoods to consider when moving to San Diego

If you’re wondering what neighborhoods are best to move to or spend time in there are a plethora of options. 

North county neighborhoods like Carlsbad are more low-key than the central city but can be quite pricey. Central Coastal neighborhoods such as La Jolla are home to San Diego’s best beach fronts, the best hiking in the city at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, and topped with high-class dining and retail. 

If you are craving the downtown city life, step into the Gaslamp Quarter and stroll through 16 blocks of buzzing nightlife and tourists. The Inland neighborhoods can offer you an art district that is perfect for those claiming to be a foodie, coffeeshop-lover, and festival-seeker. 

The great news is that there are no limits or restrictions when it comes to choosing a neighborhood in, ‘America’s Finest City’. Below is a list of the neighborhood and suburbs of San Diego proving that the possibilities are endless. 

There are several neighborhoods to consider when you're moving to San Diego
Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

North County Neighborhoods: Carlsbad, Encinitas, Carmel Valley

Central Coastal Neighborhoods: La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Mission Hills, Bankers Hill, Hillcrest, Little Italy, Gaslamp Quarter, East Village, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Coronado

Inland Neighborhoods: Normal Heights, North Park, South Park 

Suburbs: Solana Beach, Poway, Santee, San Marcos, La Mesa, Oceanside

Activities

One thing to know when moving to San Diego is that it's very pet friendly.
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Pexels.com

The city of San Diego provides the community with an abundance of choices to stay active. ‘Pet Paradise’ could easily be the newly adopted name for the city, as dogs can have just as much fun as their companion counterparts.

Dog-friendly beaches include Coronado Dog Beach, Ocean Beach Dog Beach, Del Mar Dog Beach, and Fiesta Inland. Take your pooch to eat at Cross Street Kitchen and Beer or wine tasting at San Pasqual Winery

If you are looking for activities independent of your fur-baby, there are plenty of opportunities available:

AxeVentures 

Located in North Park, if you’re looking to replicate Paul Bunyan and find some stress relief then this is right up your alley. Throwing axes is the new hype. The cost is $31 for 75 minutes and includes instructions. 

Belmont Park

This Mission Beach amusement park is filled with roller coasters, arcades, activities like zip-lining, and scenic views of the Pacific Ocean. Park admission is free and pay as you play but unlimited ride passes are available starting at $30 a person. 

Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market 

Rain or shine, Little Italy Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm. Shop fresh produce, eggs, meat, poultry, and more. 

Hotel Del Coronado 

Known as one of the most iconic hotels in the world, Hotel Del Coronado draws in locals and tourists alike. When the hotel opened in 1988, it was known as the largest resort hotel in the world. 

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Known as the number one zoo in the world, it is home to 3,700 animals. One-day admission tickets are $62 for adults and $52 for children (ages 3-11).

Nightlife

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

According to the latest BLS data, consumers average over $7,000 per year on food expenses. One way to save in this category is to cut back on dining out and spending more time cooking at home. If you aren’t concerned about saving in this category, the price of a fast-food combo meal averages at $8 and a basic lunchtime menu in the business district at $15.

It’s always good to spoil yourself once in a while and enjoy the nightlife that San Diego offers. A basic dinner for two averages at $42 with a single cocktail at $13. Here are some options for wining and dining in San Diego:

Belly Up Tavern

Located in Solana Beach, this restaurant has live music almost every night showcasing local artists from many different genres. Check out their event calendar by clicking here.

Rooftop by Stk in Gaslamp Quarter

Wanting to fine-dine with breathtaking views? Head on up to the roof of the Andaz San Diego Hotel where you will find yourself taking in downtown San Diego views while all-day dining hours from 11 am to 11 pm. You can choose from casual food such as Carne Asada Tacos to chef-inspired entrees like the Pepper and Smoked Sugar Salmon.

The Grass Skirt in Pacific Beach

Ever heard of pop-up shops? Well, this tiki bar that is located in Pacific Beach features pop-up bars on Grand Ave in San Diego. Over the holiday season, you could catch them popped-up, calling themselves, ‘Sippin’ Santa,’ with featured tiki-themed holiday cocktails. The Grass Skirt is predominantly for night owls, with their hours of operation opening from 5 pm to 10 pm. 

Prohibition Gaslamp Quarter 

If you are a history buff or just love the Roaring Twenties, this prohibition speakeasy will be a San Diego favorite of yours. Similar to BellyUp Tavern, Prohibition Gaslamp Quarter features live music every night. The dress code is enforced Fridays and Saturdays, where you must dress up in 20s themed outfits to enter the premises.

Their website gives instructions saying, “No reservations. No call ahead. It’s simply about showing up, spotting our unassuming Law Office door and seeing where this underground venue of the San Diego nightlife scene will take you.”  (UPDATE: THEY ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO COVID-19. IF YOU ARE VISITING PLEASE CALL OR CHECK WEBSITE TO SEE IF OPEN).

Real Estate, Rent, Housing

Real Estate, Rent, and Housing to evaluate when you're considering moving to San Diego.
Photo by Enric Cruz Lu00f3pez on Pexels.com

It’s not a surprise that a mortgage or rent payment in San Diego is typically the highest bill residents pay according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Feb. 2021, the Median Sales Price for a home rose 15.1% to $685,000. That’s almost two-fold from the same time last year.

New listings in San Diego County decreased 19.6% to 3,029 and Closed Sales were up 5.9% to 2,500, told by the Lender Mediated Properties Report. 

Mortgage rates have consistently remained unshaken, with the average rate as of Mar. 13, 2021, for a 30-year-fixed mortgage being 3.196% and a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.474%. With it being a buyer’s market, there’s no better time to hop on the homeowner bandwagon.

If you are looking to purchase a home, don’t forget to consider relevant property taxes, homeowners insurance, HOA, and maintenance fees. 

Home buying may not be for everyone with renting as your only alternative. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,800.

Job Market

U.S. unemployment rate sits at 6.2%. 

California’s unemployment rate is 9%.

San Diego’s unemployment rate is 8%.

Jobs to consider when moving to San Diego
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Pexels.com

Looking at those statistics you can see that San Diego’s unemployment rate is lower than the state of California but higher than the United States as a whole. The city is successful when it comes to job market diversity, with job openings in many fields of expertise such as technology, medical, finance, tourism, and life sciences. 

Crime

San Diego is safer than 22% of U.S. cities. It’s been voted as the safest big city in the U.S. by several publications. For every 1,000 residents, there are 3.75 violent crimes and 19.83 property crimes

Climate and Weather

San Diego is temperament with average temperatures ranging from 48-76 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Take a look at the weather breakdown every month by clicking here

School Ratings

San Dieguito Union High School District is number one in the San Diego area. While Del Mar Union Elementary ranks 24th out of 1,525 California school districts. Take a look at more school ratings in California here.

Economy

San Diego is known for its strong economy and it stood tall during the recession. Residents can thank the military for dominating the city of San Diego’s economic base and spending money to stimulate the economy. International Trade, Manufacturing, Military, and Tourism are the heart and base sectors that make up the San Diego economy.

San Diego was ranked in 2018 as the best in the country for personal income growth and they sit in 5th place as the largest economy in the world.

Due to the population and personal income growth of San Diego in the past two years, it created more individuals who were looking for work and needed temporary rent. Therefore, the development of commercial buildings and rental apartments gave an assist to the thriving economy that San Diego offers. 

According to a study, property values go up in cities that marijuana is legalized in. Ever since Marijuana was legalized in California, cannabis has been a driving force in property demand due to an increase in commercial growers and cannabis buyers. 

Health

San Diego lags compared to the United States when it comes to health insurance. Of those living in San Diego, 90.8% of people have health insurance compared to the U.S. which sits at 92% based on the 2019 Census.

Religion

The dominant religion in San Diego is Christianity, with 26.8% of the population being Catholic followed by 6.7% identifying as “other Christian faith.” You can see a breakdown of the San Diego religions here

People Stats

If you are a single professional, San Diego is a great option considering the median age of the population is 34.9, with 25% of its residents younger than 20 and a small 12% older than 64. The population of San Diego sits at 3,347,270, a .13% growth rate in the past year. It holds second place behind Los Angeles for being the largest city in California.

Politics and Voting

California is widely known for being a blue state. That liberal affiliation holds to the city of San Diego as it leans to the majority of its voters being Democrat. In the 2020 Presidential Election, 61% of the population voted Democrat while only 37% voted Republican, told by the San Diego Union Tribune.

San Diego County was predominantly Republican from 2000-2008 but has since switched to liberal in the past four Presidential Elections.

Commute Time

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that transportation will come in second place in expenses for San Diego residents. Consider gas prices, toll road fees, car repairs, and parking when choosing where to live.

San Diego sits at 26 minutes on average for commute time by car. This is a great statistic compared to the rest of the country if you’re looking to avoid traffic. However, when it comes to public transit the average time is sitting at 52 minutes.

Perhaps the city of San Diego should consider improving its public transit routes. Considering the commute time and fees, it may be a good idea to choose a home that’s close to work. 

Commute time is important to think about when moving to San Diego
Photo by Aleksejs Bergmanis on Pexels.com

Conclusion: moving to San Diego

Whether you are considering moving to San Diego or dropping by for a visit, you have a wide array of choices from housing to school districts to the economic and political trends of the city. The opportunities available in the ‘City of Motion,’ are endless.

It’s decided: I’m living out of an RV full-time

I sit here at my work desk, listening to the everyday track of employees shuffling the hallway outside of my office. The day’s upcoming forecast, after-hour plans, and workweek commitments are the lyrics between Linda and Joe that play on a continuous daily loop.


There has to be something more fulfilling to my life than the 9-5 schedule. I’m a soon-to-be 30-year old writer and an entrepreneurial spirit that can’t ever stay put in one place longer than three years without running away like a gypsy. It’s time to embrace the uncomfortable. It’s time to see the country, put away my winter boots, pick up my writer’s pen, and chase the sun. It’s time to live out of a travel trailer full-time.


My apartment lease is approaching the finish line in July 2021. That gives me enough time to shop around for a travel trailer and get my plans in order. This isn’t a random idea but something I have been planning for quite some time. I just never pulled the trigger because of the nerves that come along with backing the trailer up by myself into RV sites, gas stations, etc. The only way I’ll ever learn is to do.


I chose a travel trailer so that I can detach my car easily. This means that I have to trade in my Nissan Juke with a low towing-capacity in exchange for something like a Chevy Tahoe or Dodge Durango. I’ll also need to find somewhere to store my trailer for a few months until I move out of my apartment to prevent overlap in housing payments.


Currently, I’m looking at a bigger travel trailer because I want to do this for several years to pay off debt and shake my gypsy bug. Preferably, I’d like to keep the price below $3,000 so that I can invest an additional $2,000 to renovate it and make it my own. If I come across one at a higher price with an interior I like with fewer renovations on my end, that’ll work too. I also would like to find one in my price range that has a couple of slide-outs to create more space once I’m parked.


As far as income, I am a freelance writer and have established enough clients where I can work remotely. Traveling will be a boost in income since I’ll have the ability to blog about all of the places I’ll visit.


The plan is to be in Minnesota until the end of September and then head down south. I’m not sure where I’ll go first. Maybe Southern California and make my way down into Arizona, Texas, Florida, then head up the east coast when it warms up in the spring and summer. I’m not too worried about my plans as long as I’m going somewhere new.


If you have been a Nomad or have RV/Camper experience please drop any suggestions in the comment section and please subscribe to my blog for support and to follow me on this journey.
We’ve only got one go-around in this life. I’m here to make it count.