What do you need from your travel housing?

Housing is something I have covered before at length, but today we’ll be looking at things a little bit differently. In the past, I’ve been looking at the hotels, hostels, apartments, ect. as a place where you move in and out – sometimes a home-away-from-home but most of the time a place to store your bags until you move to your next destination.

What I’m looking for in terms of my next adventures is a little difference and this is why I want to talk about looking at your priorities to figure out what you should consider and balance (budget verses utilities) to find your best fit.

So my next adventure: My week and a half honeymoon here in sunny Los Angeles.

In terms of housing, we are jumping around a little like I had talked about before, however, we are also looking to find a place (for a little while) to call home. We have our first night together in a local hotel before running down to The Majestic Garden Hotel (we’ve talked about this in the past) to spend some fun times at Disneyland! After a few days at this, we want the last week of our time together to be easy.

We decided that a big part of making that happen is having as many amenities as we can manage without breaking the bank –  enter AirBnB!

I have talked about my past experiences here as well as hostels so I can’t explain enough how important it is to look at pictures but also read everything, including as many reviews as you can stomach! Remember to read these with a grain of salt – some people are less seasoned travelers or pickier than you may be which will make for worse reviews than you may end up feeling they deserve. Another great clue is looking at how the owners respond to the reviews they get – are they aggressive? are they apologetic? do they try to fix what happened? These all dictate what you can expect during your time here.

When you move past the fine print and the reviews, it’s deciding what you need and what you don’t. For me, at least in most of my travels, having a washer and dryer is nice but not necessary, WiFi is a must, parking can be here or there; you get the picture.

Now, I would love much homier details. I’m not looking to be out all the time so things like washer and driers, privacy, not having to worry about parking, stores at walking distances, and cozy enough to just hang out and be with my husband. Again, this is my honeymoon – every vacation is different so knowing what you need and the requirements of the people you are with matter before delving in!

I love AirBnB because it is more than just a place to book a place to stay; there are suggestions for things to go see or experience, from local lookouts, to cooking classes, to hikes. This is really user generated so don’t forget to review these experiences as well as where you stay!

What is the best part of this whole finding a place to stay experience for me? Ryan has done it all! Gotta love distributing tasks and teamwork.

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

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What do you need from your travel housing?

Surprise!

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A Stop in the Middle of Nowhere, Kansas. 1 July 2017.

Things are going to be getting pretty interesting here on Leave on the Wind, because while I may be talking some planning over on the other blog, my life is going to involve thinking about and planning a few other people’s travel rather than my own. Why?

Well, I am getting married.

…. in about 3 months; less than 100 days in fact.

… and the groom currently lives in Germany.

… and the best man and maid of honor both live in different parts of North Carolina.

…. and they all have different schedules and needs for getting out here.

In other words, while I am excited to be getting married and everything else that is to come, I also have a whole lot of stuff I will be working to stay on top of.

Luckily, we are keeping things small and cheap so those three are really the only people who have to travel. But then there are the local (almost staycation-like) factors that include road-tripping to get registered as a military spouse, getting a hotel or an apartment for the 15 days Ry will be here, and the time we want to stay down near Disneyland.

So yea, it’s going to be a hectic few months and then some European/German trips where I can’t wait to explore and show my (soon-to-be) husband the parts of the world he hasn’t had the opportunities to explore.

All this and so much more to come, but until then:

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

Surprise!

Knowing your Airports.

As someone who has flown a lot over the course of her life, I have always paid very close attention to specific rules that get published – a major one of these rules are when you have to get to the airport and checked in before your flight.

At LAX domestic this can be as little as 90 minutes while interaction can be two or three hours. Burbank tends to run between 60 to 90 minutes. In fact, most airports that I have visited give you about that standard arrival time – 90 minutes before your plane is due to depart.

Flying out of Wichita Airport was completely different. This has to be the smallest airport  I have ever been too! It took 10 minutes to park and 5 minutes to get through security – this means that I was at the airport 90 minutes early and waiting by myself for 45 minutes of it. No one else showed up for another 20 minutes!

This, however, doesn’t just have to do with factors like arrival time. It can also have to do with traffic to and out of the terminals, which terminals might be closed, where you go through security and how long that takes, and how long it takes to get from security to your gate. All of this you can look up by searching the airport online and, trust me, you really will want to.

For me, this was not a huge deal – did I loose time I could have been doing other things? yes. However, if this had been another way – say, you are used to these tiny airports and then move up to one of the larger ones? – you could very easily miss a flight! And all because we all stick to patterns based on our normal travel experiences.

So, as I have said, again and again. Do your research on all parts of your trip and you really will save yourself a lot of headaches.

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

Knowing your Airports.

Getting Comfortable with your Travel Companions…

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Kansas. Middle of Nowhere, Kansas. 5 July 2017.

In case I haven’t made it clear before, through our travels around Kansas and just into Missouri, we were in the car an unbelievable amount of time and, for nearly the 5  whole days I was there (with the exception of a few hours Ryan was at work), we were always together – living in each others’ pockets, as it were. This can either be amazing (we thought so) or can drive you nuts, but either way, the key to this kind of travel is knowing your partner and being as comfortable with them as you possibly can.

When it comes to Ryan and I, we had only been together (as a couple, at least) for a month – all of which was long distance – but we have been friends (best friends) for almost 12 years. Still, being with someone for 24 hours a day for 5 days is intense, no matter how long or how well you think you know them.

First and foremost, you really have to get over the fact that you and your companion(s) are human so human things are going to happen. Bodily functions, habits, and whatever else are always going to happen so the key is to laugh when things get a little awkward and move forward. As the book says, everyone poops. Add to that, dating and there is a whole other level of getting used to someone else being in close quarters. I’m telling you, we have discussed bathroom patterns and have excused ourselves when need be to deal with those kind of personal issues.

Second, follow the road trip rules (1, 2) and we have discussed before and make a plan. This pre-planning will save you so much time and headaches and let you just enjoy your time together. Read those old posts and you’ll get a lot more information!

Third, when being together becomes too much, know when to spend your time apart. This somehow didn’t happen in Kansas – Ryan and I apparently could be marooned somewhere together and be fine, at least during this honeymoon period – however, being able to take time for yourself is really important, short- or long-term.


Again, the whole point is to get comfortable with this person who you are going to be spending an outrageous amount of time and close quarters with so even if my parameters are broad, it’s all about doing what you need to do to make that work: speak up, clear the air, laugh, make jokes, or do whatever you need to do and enjoy yourself.

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

Getting Comfortable with your Travel Companions…

To Pack and Pack Again.

Continuing along the epic saga of summer travel, today I finally settled down to pack for the two trips I have covering just over a week. Both of these trips are very different and require very different perimeters when packing. Luckily, this allowed me to pack for both trips at once while also having what I need for both trips available.

First (as in tomorrow), I leave to caravan up to Fresno to help my sister pack her apartment up and move back to the valley. With an easy there and back, two day trip whose main features are driving, cleaning, and carrying  heavy items, packing is pretty much throwing in some extra underclothes, a shirt, and PJs; it’s easy to reuse heavy duty jeans the whole trip. Add in toiletries and an ipod play list for the drive and you’ve got the whole trip more or less squared away.

This is almost the opposite of packing for Kansas.

While Kansas – as I have spent the last few weeks explaining – doesn’t have very much going on, my wardrobe for Kansas is extremely varied. There are two reasons for this kind of packing (one of which I have encountered before and the other I haven’t) : One – it’s a short trip. Six days if you count the evening I fly in; and Two – this whole trip is basically back to back dates that consist of everything from a fancy dinner and a show, to a stadium musical, to zip lining, to fourth of July fireworks.

The first means that I will over-pack. Even with all of my experience, I almost always pack more per day traveling short term than I do long term. Why is this? well, even with wearing pieces that can work well together without making it look like you haven;t changed clothes in 5 days, the shorter the trip the more the similarities bother – after all, as much as I like the ease of travel, I also like fashion.

The second means that I have to account for day activities and night activities that very well may require costume changes. Alongside leaving room for choice while on the road, this means packing even more.  Then there are toiletries, makeup, hair stuff, shoes, and entertainment for the plane. And of course, my camera. All in all, that is a lot of stuff for less than a week out there.

But what am I packing? A few dresses fit for different kinds of activities – from a fancy dinner to running around town; some rugged jeans and a basic shirt for zip lining; and then some basic running around clothes like a skirt and jeans paired with a wide selection of top options.

So it will be a long week but I can’t wait to get underway. Until next time:

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

To Pack and Pack Again.

And here is the game plan…

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And another one for Kansas. Middle of Nowhere, Kansas. 1 July 2017.

Yep, this is the next installment from the ongoing Kansas Saga which will, of course, be ongoing.

Now that plans are starting to fall into place, we have managed to nail down where we will be and some bigger stuff we are going to do. It’s been an interesting process, planning across the country, but for a mostly fly-over state, I am starting to get really excited (and not just about the company).

Last week I talked about how when you are out in the middle of nowhere (which, let’s be honest) happens a lot in the average persons mundane travel. I talked a little about traveling further out and finding the more exciting areas when you are looking for more adventure and, since we’ve started in on the game plan, that is what I am looking into now.

The plan is that I’ll write all about this trip while and after I’ve been on it, so I won’t go into too many features now.

We’ll be starting out in Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas for an evening, a night, and a day; before driving over to Wichita, Kansas for another evening show, night, and a day; Then it’s back to the Fort Riley area until I head back to Kansas City on the 5th for some last bits of exploring and flying home.

Exciting, right?

Well, that when all the personal stuff comes in. That’s right – planning!


Wichita, Kansas

So more or less, this is a city of historic and niche museums and then nature walks. Everywhere I looked, I found loads of museums catering to every type of interest I could possibly imagine. From toys and trains, to historic houses and recreations, to art and nature.

As a photographer, I am most looking forward to Wichita Gardens – the cities beautiful botanical gardens. The images I have seen are inspiring and spending the day exploring before heading out on the town – dinner and a show, another great feature of these larger areas.


Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas

I am probably spending nearly the same amount of time here as I am in Fort Riley – where I originally thought I was going to spend the whole trip. Between the time here as a couple and on my own, this city which spans two states has so much to offer I honestly don’t know where to begin.

There are tons of sites like this one which give amazing ideas on what to see and I love the commentary and categories. As a book nerd, a photographer, an explorer, and an art lover, there is so much to see and enjoy here.

I mean, come on: google their Union Station and Public Library and you will see what I mean!


10 days until I take off and so much more to do, so until next time:

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

And here is the game plan…

Looking Closer: Kansas.

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Because Kansas. Middle of Nowhere, Kansas. 5 July 2017.

A few weeks back I talked a little about a perspective trip to Germany that’s still a year(ish) out (hopefully), but this week I am pulling back to a long weekend trip much closer in both time and distance: I leave for Kansas on June 30th.

So let’s settle one issue really quick: for us out here on the coast, Kansas is definitely what we call a fly-over state – you know, a state you fly over to get where you really want to go – for a reason (sorry, Kansas!). While this state is the home of The Wizard of OZ, Clark Kent, and a surprising number of backdrops in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, there doesn’t seem to be much to kick your heals up about (and again, sorry, Kansas!).

However, I should state that I haven’t really started my side of research yet, so maybe I’m a Coaster speaking to soon… I don’t really think I am though.

Why then, you may ask, am I flying into this particular fly over state? After all, nothing even close made it onto my US city bucket list.

Well, this is where my best friend/now kinda boyfriend (yea that’s new and an odd thing to type) lives and we are spending the long weekend exploring Kansas while we can before he ends up overseas (hence the Germany post^^). While the relationship is new (minus the 12 years we’ve been best friends), so is Kansas but I am taking a different approach – I’m not really planning.

This is not to say that I’ve never not planned trips I’ve been on before – if you are reading along, you will know that my family has done lots of traveling with mom as the main guide – however, on those trips I usually knew what to expect. Ryan is not something I know in terms of travel, so this is bound to be interesting.

Also, this is a different kind of trip. We are going to explore where we can – I mean, this is still me – but it’s more about couple stuff since, again, long distance until the trip and for the foreseeable future after. And again, this is me, so it’s not like I’m totally going in unprepared – there will be a week of research in my immediate future as well. In other words, we are working together but I am giving up the lead. So weird.

So, as a quick close – followed next week (hopefully) by a post all about fun adventures you can have in Kansas – there are a lot of new adventures to come, so stick around and if anyone has any advice on anything, sound off in the comments!

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

PS, hi and surprise anyone who knows me in person and didn’t know they above!

Looking Closer: Kansas.