Travel Near: La Brea Tar Pits & the LACMA

For those of you who speak Spanish, The La Brea Tar Pits is quite a redundant name, but I assure you, “The La Brea Tar Pits” is how we refer to it here.  (For my non-Spanish speakers, “La Brea” means “The Tar,” so when you call them The La Brea Tar pits, you’re saying “The The Tar Tar Pits.” Fun fact.)

I’m always on the hunt for local places to explore that are inexpensive to visit, and I’ll be honest, this one pushed my budget a little over the edge.  La Brea is located a mile away from The Grove, for those of you familiar with the area.  I frequently park in a Beverly Hills neighborhood and walk when I visit The Grove to evade the high price of parking.

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17 Days Until San Diego! - The Travel Often Blog -

How to Plan your Next Vacation: Part 4

This morning I am busy planning more for my trip to San Diego! I’ve fallen a bit behind on my planning, so now it is crunch time!  Lucky for me, I am practically done with the planning and am almost on to the FUN!

This is part FOUR of my how-to-plan series.

In PART 1, I looked for destinations on Pinterest and showed you how I use Pinterest boards to create a list of dream stops for any destination.  This part was the most fun, but also the most mindless.  I just click-and-pin anything that sounds interesting, no reading just yet!

In PART 2, I started to filter those pins.  I started clicking all the links and browsing the websites.  Those that didn’t seem relevant or weren’t interesting, I deleted.  The ones that did feel like a great fit, I transferred over to Pocket!

In PART 3, I read through those articles and blog posts I saved to Pocket, and started to take notes on things I wanted to do while I was in San Diego.

Now, in PART 4 I will be taking that list of stops and putting them together in a Map!  I use Google Map for this.

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Pack Light!: Carry-On Edition

Throughout college, my life had been one continuous series of travels that required me to pack ridiculous amounts of things in teeny tiny bags.  I grew up in Wisconsin and went to school in St. Louis.  This was a (comparatively) small distance that made it easy to travel home for birthdays, holidays, and extended weekends.  Easy might not be the best word to use, maybe that’s another post all together.

Flying into the Madison airport is outrageous! As a college student, flying into Madison was completely and totally out of my price range, so I learned to navigate the magic that was $1 tickets from the MegaBus.  (Did I ever get a $1 ticket? No, but I did manage to get plenty of $5 tickets, and that is good enough for me!)

These treks required me to shove as much as two weeks worth of clothes and things into a small carry-on bag.  Now, to be clear, MegaBus policy states that you can bring on as many as as two suitcases to be stored in their under-the-bus storage, but for those of you unfamiliar with my exact path of travel (and I don’t know why any of you would be familiar with that, unless maybe you are my mom.  Hi mom!) I have to travel from St. Louis to Madison by way of Chicago! That is a 12 hour day and two very long bus rides.

When I get off the bus in Chicago and have to run down Canal street to catch my next bus at Union Station…I don’t want to be lugging around the allotted two suitcases. In fact, sprinting down Canal Street to catch my bus that I am 2 minutes late for is much, much easier with a carry-on backpack.  

Studying abroad in Europe, I became even more versed in packing carry-on bags, because unlike my ventures to my parents’ house, this time I had to remember to pack my own toothpaste.  Packing light became a breeze!


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How to Plan Your Next Vacation: Part 2

This is part TWO of my new “Follow-Along series” about planning your next adventure! CLICK HERE to read part one!

A quick summary of part one: we created a Pinterest board to plan our next vacation.  We aimlessly picked out a bunch of pins.  We had a mindless, enjoyable search session trying to find the best resources for our travels.

Part two is about cleaning this mess up!  Now that we have hundreds of pins that were gathered with a pin-now-read-later mindset, it’s time to clean out the bad ones.  Anything that isn’t relevant or doesn’t add anything to the planning process: OUT OF HERE!

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How to Plan Your Next Vacation Using Pinterest!

This is part ONE of my new “Follow-Along series” about using easy (and free) technology to plan your next adventure!

I tend to plan my trips way far out.  I give myself plenty of time to ease into it.  I start with a few 10 – 15 minute search sessions, to get an idea for what is out there, before I really dive in.  I’m going to walk you through, piece by piece, what I do when planning for a trip, and allow you to follow along in real time!

I currently have 57 days until San Diego (as you’ve already seen).  But I also have a job, and friends, and laundry…and I have to eat somewhere in there, too.  I don’t like to let planning my trips stress me out…this is supposed to be fun! 

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