How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai’i

Hello hello!! We’ve just come back from a glorious 9 day trip to Hawai’i and I have to tell you, I think it might just be my favorite island out there.

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

It’s funny, when I was researching what to do and where to go, I was surprised to find that there wasn’t much out there! The best recommendations came from word of mouth and I’m here to change that in case you want to venture out there (which you should) and need something to reference!

I think the thing I love most about the Big Island is that it’s like a million different places in one and it’s FASCINATING. One side of the island is sunny and dry and the other is like a rainforest, plus you add in the lava flows that formed the island and continue to do so – it’s just unbelievable and there’s SO much to see. It’s also far less developed than say Maui or Oahu, which makes the vibe a big more low key and perfect for a relaxing vacation.

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

Here are some super important things to note before you plan your trip:

  • There are two airports you can fly into and out of: Kona (the more touristy side) and Hilo, though the latter offers far fewer flights and airline options
  • Rent a car. There really is no other option, and you wouldn’t want there to be because the drives on the Big Island are some of the prettiest drives I’ve ever been on, not to mention that everything is quite far from one another!
  • You’ll want to spend more time on the Kona side simply because there’s more to do, more beaches to visit, better snorkeling, more food options and less of a chance of rain!
  • But definitely don’t go all that way and miss out on the Hilo side where you’ll find things like Volcanoes National Park and some incredible waterfalls.

I’m going to go ahead and break this guide into two sections corresponding with each side of the island! Keep scrolling for things to see, do and eat no matter where you find yourself.

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

KONA

Where to Stay: We spent our time up at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel which was insanely stunning, so shoutout to boyfriends who get the hookup with travel points😂 I couldn’t recommend this property more (the beach was my favorite) but the Kailua-Kona area & Waikoloa are also beautiful! There are more options on this side of the island for resorts & Airbnbs.

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

What to Do: You MUST go to Snorkel Bob’s and rent snorkel equipment as soon as you hit the island, this is a non-negotiable. Bob himself will give you tons of resources for where to snorkel and I can assure he’s right about every single one. For $50, we rented top notch snorkel gear for the week and were able to see incredible sea creatures for that low cost!

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts
  • Snorkel in Caption Cook – hands down our favorite moment of the entire week. We kayaked from a friend’s house over to the Captain Cook monument, got out to go snorkeling, and immediately saw a reef shark. It felt like Planet Earth and it was AWESOME.
  • Visit Hapuna Beach – and snorkel there, too! It’s one of the only white sand beaches on the island (aside from Mauna Kea) and it’s beautiful.
  • Hike Down the Pololu Trail – please don’t miss out on this! The view is breathtaking and the hike down/back up is super rewarding because the beach at the bottom is beautiful. You’ll be able to see a bit down the coast, too! On your way home, stop in Hawi, the artisan town nearby.
  • Lay Out on Waialea Beach – which is also a great snorkeling spot! This was one of our favorite beaches because the layout of it is really cool. Lots of rocks, cool trees, and locals!
  • Watch the Surfers at Magic Sands Beach – as long as the waves are big! Otherwise you can swim in the water yourself, although we were there during a huge swell, so we sat that one out.
How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

Where to Eat: We ate breakfast at our hotel everyday because the buffet breakfast was included and it was UNREAL (again, highly recommend the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, wish this were sponsored😂), but we did manage to stop at some other delicious places for lunch and dinner!

  • Basik Café – a must for delicious açai bowls!! It’s above the Snorkel Bob’s in the southern part of the island by Magic Sands Beach/Kona
  • Under the Bodhi Tree – we happened to get açai bowls here too, but I can confidently say the rest of their food is incredible. We were drooling over the menu and wish we’d brought a bigger appetite! Regardless though, this was hands down the craziest smoothie bowl of all time🙌🏻
  • Daylight Mind – this café in Kailua-Kona blew us away! The food was unbelievably fresh, their coffee was fantastic, and the prices were great!
  • Big Island BrewHaus – this was the only place we ate at twice because we were THAT obsessed with it. Their food is incredible (I miss it, honestly) and the beer is great, too. It’s up in Waimea, so potentially a hike depending on where you’re staying, but so worth the trip!
  • Pueo’s Osteria – we ventured here for a slightly fancier date night, but this plate is super cute and the food is fantastic! They make pizza and pasta in house, and definitely leave room for dessert.
How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

**One thing to note: If you’re driving from the Mauna Kea/Waikoloa area to or from Hilo like we did, you HAVE to stop at the Waipio Valley Lookout. It’s stunning and truly fascinating because people actually live way down in the valley where the history is rich. There is a hike, but don’t bother with it, we heard from locals that it’s gnarly! And definitely stop at the local fruit stand on the side of the road on your way out.

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

HILO

Where to Stay: There admittedly are not a lot of options hotel-wise on this side, but we stayed at the Grand Naniloa Hotel by Hilton right in town. What’s nice is that the few hotels that do exist are about a 5 minute drive into Hilo itself and another 5 to the airport! I would recommend this hotel for sure, but an Airbnb could also be great!

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

What to Do: While Hilo isn’t exactly the most glamorous part of the island (it’s definitely where the locals all live), there is a TON to do. We got through pretty much all of it in two days though, so don’t feel like you need much longer than that.

  • Day Trip to Volcanoes National Park – this is up at the top of the list for a reason and it’s easily the most important thing you could do on the Big Island. It’ll cost you $25 to enter the park (but it’s good for a week) and there’s a TON to see. It’s all mind-blowing, trust me, and don’t forget to chat with the park rangers to find out what’s open/worth checking out. We spent about 4 hours here and it was a major highlight of our trip!
  • Rainbow Falls/PeePee Falls – both of these waterfalls are absolutely gorgeous and quite close to one another! Rainbow Falls actually has a little Banyan Tree forest right next to it as well, so definitely check that out.
  • Akaka Falls – there are two more waterfalls here and it’s a bit north of Hilo itself, but a must visit! Akaka Falls is actually 3x the size (depth wise) of Niagara Falls, which is insane. There’s a little hike here, but it’s nothing too crazy. Try to go before or after it’s midday and super hot.
  • Relax at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach – this beach is admittedly quite far away, so if you don’t hit it, it’s not a big deal, BUT it’s known for all the sea turtles that hang there (we saw two!) and it’s a super cool locals beach. The black sand is pretty mind blowing, too!
  • Hike the Onomea Trail – we almost stumbled on this trail accidentally and I’m SO glad we did. It’s right next to the Botanical Gardens (which are $25 a person, so no thank you there) but you can do a hike down to a few super remote, beautiful beaches!

Where to Eat: Again, there isn’t anything too fancy in Hilo, but that’s what I loved about it! We found some hidden gems and I was honestly really impressed with the food.

  • Moon & Turtle – I LOVED this place. Their menu is pretty small and changes daily based upon what’s available. Everything is locally sourced and unique. Not fancy, but great for a special night!
  • Conscious Culture – okay wait I LOVED this place, too😂 Their focus is also on local food, but with more of a hippie vibe. I had one of their nourishing bowls with sautéed veggies and rice, and added the goat cheese. Oh! Pro tip: always add the goat cheese. It’s probably made a mile from where you are on the island. This café is also home to Big Island Booch, so be sure to get a pint. It’s incredible.

Some things we didn’t get to do that maybe we would try next time:

  • Eat at Da Poké Shack, which everyone seems to rave about
  • Drive to the Green Sand Beach (but it’s faaaaar)
  • Spend more time in Waimea, which is a super cute “cowboy” town!
  • Visit a farmer’s market
  • Swim with the Manta Rays at night (all the tours were booked when we wanted to go, but it’s expensive!
How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

Well, there ya have it! That was a LONG one, so props to you if you hung in there. TLDR: Please visit the Big Island. It’s insane and I truly think it’s not spoken about enough!

xo Jordan

5 Reasons to Visit Bear Valley, California

Hey y’all! Did everyone have a good holiday weekend?

We got back last night after spending ours in Northern California with our pup at a friend’s cabin! It was our second time making the drive up there and man, I wish that place was closer. It’s SO beautiful and relaxing up there!!

We were in Bear Valley, California (not to be confused with Big Bear) and it’s funny because as awesome as it is up there, I feel like most people don’t know about it! Or, at least people from the SoCal region. It’s about 6.5 hours north of LA and east of Fresno, although if you go with a puppy, it may take a bit longer😅

Bear Valley and the surrounding towns have so much to offer, so keep on reading if you’re looking for a new place to explore on the west coast!

Bear Valley Mountain – This is probably the most well-known spot in the area because in the winter it draws a pretty decent skiing and snowboarding crowd! I actually came here on New Year’s Eve two and a half years ago and it’s a nice size mountain when the lower part of it is open! In the summer, there’s a ton of hiking and a nearby river you can canoe, kayak or SUP in. This time we hiked down what’s known as a double black diamond trail in the winter and then hiked up a catwalk. It was crazy to see what’s usually covered in feet of snow! And it was HARD. 

Wine Tasting – One thing I wasn’t expecting when we went up north for the weekend was how popular it is to go wine tasting in Murphys, the biggest (and cutest!) town on the way up to Bear Valley. It’s kind of like Santa Barbara in that there are just a bunch of tasting rooms on the main street, so it’s easy to go from one to the next! We consulted some locals and tasted a few bottles, but Hatcher and Aloria are highly recommended. If you go to Hatcher, be sure to grab a loaf of Todd’s freshly made sourdough, too!

Exploring Murphys – Aside from wine tasting, this town has a ton of great eats like V Bistro, Murphys Pourhouse (awesome beer selection and a huge outdoor section, too), and Alchemy, plus cute shops and some seriously tasty ice cream at Joma’s Artisan Ice Cream. If you bring your pup, they’ll even give you a little cup of their famous vanilla for them!! Ovi tried his first ice cream there and needless to say, he was a BIG fan.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park – If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors looking at some of the most beautiful Sequoia trees that ever existed, come here. It’s a huge park, I’ve been twice now and even though we visited two different areas, I’m sure you could come here 50 times and still have things to see. In the northern part, there’s a walking trail that we did during the winter (SO beautiful but very cold!) and this past weekend we did the 5-6 mile (easy) hike in the south part. It’s about $12 per car to enter the park, just fyi, but the beauty you see inside couldn’t be more worth it.

The Overall Vibe – Bear Valley is nothing like Lake Tahoe or Big Bear, it’s far quieter, much less built up, and draws a different type of out-of-towner! There are a ton of people with second homes that come from the Bay Area and from what I can tell, everyone is pretty low key, casual, outdoorsy and friendly. If you have the opportunity, I definitely recommend renting a cabin in the woods so you can enjoy some local wine and cheese on the porch, dip into a hot tub, and cozy up by the fireplace! And don’t forget to grab a fresh pie and/or cider donuts from The Red Apple on your way up😍

I feel like we have so much more to see and I’d love to snowboard on that mountain in the winter again, so I know we’ll be back soon! Where did you spend your holiday weekend?

xo Jordan

Must-Visit Healthy Food & Wellness Spots in NYC

OMG HI.

Dancing for Donuts | Must-Visit Health Eating & Wellness Spots in NYC

I am back from one of the most epic, hectic and AMAZING trips to New York that I’ve had since I left in 2011! I initially went for my best friend’s bachelorette, which was an absolute, exhausting blast, and then stayed to see my family and friends!

I met up with some of my incredible blogger babes, caught up with friends from college, and got to visit some places that have been on my list for ages. I also threw an event alongside my friend Alyssa and a company called MyWellBeing, so full recap on that to come soon😊

Until then, I’ve rounded up 7 of my favorite wellness/healthy living spots from my trip and let me tell you guys, I miss them already. NYC is so much more wellness focused than it was when I was in college – it’s crazy! Let’s get into it😍

WTHN – Okay you guys, I finally did it, I got acupuncture for the first time!!! I’m so proud of myself, can you tell😂 I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous, but I’m willing to do pretty much anything to ease my back pain at this point. Plus, my friend Alyssa told me this spot was unbelievable, and she was RIGHT.

I actually have their “herbs” at home, which are supplements made with adaptogens, but I’m so glad I got to visit this gorgeous space in person. I think I might do a full post on my experience, but let me just say, this is the perfect place to go in NYC if you’re looking to experience acupuncture for the first time! It’s got the vibe of a super cool spa, they make you feel so comfortable, and the practice itself is super healing. 

Sundays Studio – If you’re looking for a non-toxic mani in the city, you HAVE to go to Sundays!! The ambiance is beautiful, the service is outstanding, and my nails looked SO good. I got a regular manicure with some nail art (so many cute designs and colors!), but they also do non-toxic gel manis, too! Can’t wait to go back here next time I’m in town.

Hu Kitchen – YOU GUYS. Omg I wish I could express to you how much I loved it here😭 I was fully planning on going back at least once more and just ran out of time, but please oh please make a point to go to this healthy food freaking WONDERLAND next time you are in NYC. They have so many insanely delicious options that cater to nearly any diet and their creations taste like actual heaven. I wanted to try one of everything, but I made my own bowl with their pork meatballs, pineapple and broccoli. I also tried their chickpea focaccia which was SO good!

Charley St. – This was my first stop in the city last week for a meetup with some my blogging friends and it did not disappoint! It’s an Australian café, which I know seem to be popping up all over NYC and LA, but you guys. The gluten-free banana muffin and banana bread for to DIE for. They also make a mean oat milk latté and some seriously gorgeous smoothie bowls!

Energi – My friend Alyssa and I actually held an event here last week (blog post on that to come very soon!), but it’s such a stunning space! I’m so grateful that we were able to use it. Energi is a wellness focused co-working space that’s opening very soon, but they actually have a workout studio right upstairs too that’s already open! Some seriously incredible teachers have classes there (that’s something to do next time!), but the cowering space is pretty epic too. Super bright, open, welcoming, and full of energy – pun intended.

Two Hands – Another Australian café (yep, I told you they were on the up and up!), Two Hands is a beautiful spot for breakfast! It’s slightly pricier than Charley St., but worth every penny. The scrambled eggs are ridiculous and they too have banana bread, but the star of theirs it the whipped mascarpone on top. I’m so glad I got to meet my friend Gracie here – you guys might know her as Hungry Blonde but her blog was the first I ever followed back in college😊

Humming Puppy – Not gonna lie, I would legit move into this studio. It is easily the most beautiful place I’ve ever practiced yoga in, but it’s also so much more than that. The entrance alone is magical and there’s coconut water waiting in beautiful mugs for you, but then the studio itself is unlike anything else I’ve stepped foot in. It’s huge and the mats are placed ready and waiting for you in a half circle moving outwards from the center of the room where the teacher stands and each row is tiered slightly higher than the one before it. They keep it dark and there’s an actual constant humming vibration throughout the room during the entire class. I don’t think I’ve ever felt energy like that before🙌🏻

Okay, okay, that one up there ^ is NOT a healthy foodie spot, but if you like donuts and you’re in NYC, you do have to hit up Dough Doughnuts ’cause they’re the size of your head and oh so fluffy😏

Well, there ya have it! Do you have any favorite spots that I missed?! I’m hoping to get back to NYC a bit more frequently now that I don’t have to worry about vacation days, so hit me with your best!

And, of course, have a very Happy Monday!

xo Jordan

A Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs

“This post is sponsored by Palm Springs but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.”

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

My boyfriend and I have this tradition where before either one of us starts a new job, we go someplace to celebrate for a little getaway first. Our first trip was to Joshua Tree about two years ago, then there was Palm Springs last year for the weekend, Laguna Beach, and this year, even though we didn’t have time to do a big trip, we knew we wanted to do something different, something FUN. Turns out, Palm Springs is close enough to LA for a pretty solid day trip🌴

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

It’s only a couple hours each way (less if you don’t hit traffic, but good luck with that😉), and if you listen to a podcast/bring some snacks + coffee for the road, you’re good to go!

The day before we left, I did some quick research on where to go and used VisitPalmSprings.com as my main point of reference. Even though there are tons of places I know I already love there, I wanted to take this trip to find some hidden gems and cool local businesses. Turns out, there are LOTS of those in Palm Springs. It’s seriously the coolest and so, so beautiful. Here’s how our spontaneous little getaway went down…

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

The Broken Yolk Café

Our first stop on the trip, The Broken Yolk Café is literally all the things I want in a morning: a diner-esque ambiance, incredible service, huge portions of delicious food, and free refills on coffee. We splurged BIG time and got eggs benedict, a skillet with chorizo, and buttermilk pancakes. The skillet and pancakes were standouts, for sure.🙌

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Moorten Botanical Garden

This was probably my favorite part of the entire day, just because it was something so different! They give you a map at the beginning so you know what you’re looking at, which I love, and there’s so much to see both outdoors and indoors. The indoor cactarium is especially stunning because there SO many different types of plants. I recommend walking around it super slowly to really notice all it has to offer!

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Next up – shopping!

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Just Fabulous

After breakfast, I wanted to walk around and visit some of the cute shops in the area. If you’ve never been, Palm Springs has a pretty vibrant downtown area with all kinds of little boutiques and even some bigger stores, now that it’s becoming more developed! I knew I wanted to go to Just Fabulous – they have the CUTEST stuff. They were actually decorated for Christmas too, so they had a bazillion pretty & colorful ornaments! There were donuts, cereal bowls, popsicles, all kinds of things, but since we don’t actually have a tree here, I couldn’t justify the purchase😅

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Thick As Thieves

Another adorable shop, Thick as Thieves is really my style. It’s just…COOL. It’s one street over from the main one and the vibe is like…bohemian hipster, if that makes sense. I honestly wanted everything. They had some ceramics, local crafts, cute clothes, hats, crystals, jewelry, the works! I’ll 100% be back – it’s a great place for gifts, too!

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Kreem

This adorable ice cream shop was the last place we hit in Palm Springs before heading home for the day. The inside is beautiful, but they have the coolest flavors! I tried the vegan coconut and peppermint latté, but ended up going with the latter. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am obsessed with peppermint lattés, so I had to do it! Alex had the raspberry cheesecake I think – that one was incredible, too!

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Other Places in Palm Springs I Love:

Ice Cream and Shoppe – A ridiculously Instagram-worthy ice cream shop attached to a cute boutique hotel. I remember their birthday cake ice cream being one of the best things on the planet.

Koffi– Alex and I went here for coffee and breakfast one morning last time we were there! The vibes are awesome, the breakfast sandwiches are tasty and reasonably priced, and the coffee was delish!

El Jefe at The Saguaro– We came here for late afternoon drinks before dinner once and the margaritas were fantastic!! I loved checking out the hotel afterwards, although I probably wouldn’t stay there during a busy time…lots of partying😅

Cabazon Outlets – So we actually DID hit the outlets on the way home this time, I just didn’t take any photos of our shopping! Alex needed a new wallet and even though I held back (go me for having willpower for once💪🏼), the sales were fantastic. They have a ton of good stores and it’s a good place to stop on the way home!

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Talk about a jam packed day, huh?! It was SO much fun, I honestly didn’t want to leave and am already trying to plan our next trip back. If you’re in the LA area, or even if you’re not, I highly recommend checking out Palm Springs for a relaxing and fun little trip with your family, partner, or even solo! You can also head to VisitPalmSprings.com if you need any more inspo on what to do, see, eat, or even where to stay😊

xo Jordan

Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

Hi friends!! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday (if you’re in the U.S., that is!) ❤️

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

I spent Thanksgiving in Colorado this year for the first time ever! Since my brother is now married and my grandmother is no longer with us, my parents and I decided it would be fun for the three of us to meet sort of in the middle of LA and NY. Colorado is also one of our favorite places EVER (if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you already knew that😉).

Although we were only in Colorado for about 3 and a half days, I documented as much as possible so that I could share our trip with you. Most of this post is going to be photos, just fyi, but here’s a peek into some of my favorite places – Colorado is SO magical, you guys. I want to move there someday!

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

Thanksgiving dinner! My mom wanted to make a full dinner, even though we were just in a rental condo! She did such an amazing job – my favorites were the kale salad, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes!

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

She also made a pumpkin pie, but we didn’t have a pie pan so we used a Pyrex dish and it actually turned out amazing😂

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

We went out to breakfast on Black Friday morning before hitting the outlets!! I didn’t actually photograph that because I inhaled it, but we love Columbine Café. Their biscuits are to die for!

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

Half hot cocoa/half coffee with my new Williams Sonoma snowman marshmallows!! I also threw in some of my Ancient Nutrition collagen (they come in handy travel packs!).

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

We also went to the gym a couple times and I did some light weightlifting! I used to be such a cardio bunny up until this year, and I’m really liking weightlifting. I’m surprised at myself!

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

And even got massages – it was SUCH a treat. I am the most spoiled person ever.

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

I used a $10 Lush bath bomb and tuned my bath pink…worth it? Probably not. But it made for a fun photo to edit😅

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

^ Pre-flight brunch on Sunday at Brasserie Ten Ten in Boulder!

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

And then one last selfie – saying goodbye is so much easier when you know you’ll see each other again in just a month!!

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

As for Colorado? See you in the spring! P.s. We stay at the Grand Lodge on Peak 7 – it’s the BEST.

Where did you guys spend the holiday?! I don’t know about you, but I’m already counting down until the next one!! Less than a week til Hanukah and a month til Christmas!🎄

xo Jordan

My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina)

Well, another week in the Outer Banks with friends and family has come and gone. Truth be told, they always go by way too quickly.

 Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

This year was a little different – we came a bit later than usual because my brother’s wedding was the day before, my parents left early for a family emergency, and I worked most of the time we were there, but it still felt like the re-set I needed and the perfect way to cap off summer. I’ve been coming to the Outer Banks since I was about 5 years old and it’s still easily my favorite place in the world. It’s the place where I feel instantly relaxed and always make the best memories. It feels like home.

I wanted to share some of the photos from our trip and I know the past few posts on here haven’t been too substantial, but they’re more just a peek into my life! I’ll have some of my favorite places to eat/visit/explore listed at the bottom as well, in case you want to plan a trip there or know someone who is! I guess you can think of this as a mini photo diary and travel guide to the Outer Banks. It really is an incredible place and if you ever get the chance to go, please tell me and I will meet you there. jkjkjk but no seriously…

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Food:

Steamers – Incredible seafood & the best clam chowder!

Roadside – One of our two all-time favorite restaurants in OBX, casual but slightly more elevated with amazing food

Lighthouse Bagels – The. Best. Bagels.

Big Buck’s Ice Cream – A MUST. No literally, you have to go. I crave their peanut butter cups and fudge all year round.

Metropolis – The other restaurant that’s tied for first, amazing tapas with unique flavors and dishes, something for everyone

Tomato Patch – We get pizza from here our first night every. Single. Year.

First Light – Our go-to breakfast place! The biscuits are out of control.

Ocean Boulevard – Definitely on the fancier side, but so delicious and perfect for a special night out!

Kill Devil Grill – Get the crab cakes and the wings, then thank me later.

Activities:

Coastal Explorations – Where we went SUP boarding this year in the sound! They have the best prices I’ve found so far.

Whalehead Club & the Lighthouse – We used to watch July 4th fireworks here, and it’s also a beautiful place for a wedding! Or honestly just a run, picnic, etc.

Wild Mustangs on Carova Beach – If you have a car with 4-wheel drive, you MUST do this. You basically just drive all the way up past Corolla and the Whalehead Club and the road will stop. This is the only place you can drive on the beach and it’s where the horses live! Go at sunrise, you won’t be disappointed.

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

And if you want to rent our house, you can find it here!

Okay I’ll stop boring you now. Let me know in the comments if you like posts that have more photographs like this and hope you’re all having a great September so far!

xo Jordan

What I Ate in Cabo

Hello hello!!! I am back from traveling and have more photos to share with you than I know what to do with😂

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Since food is always my favorite part of travel, I wanted to share with you some of the incredible things we ate on our trip. Like last year, we stayed at our favorite hotel, the JW Marriott (which I highlyyyyyy recommend!!!!!) but also ventured out to some of our other favorite spots. We even discovered a couple of new places (like a town called Todos Santos, which is about an hour and a half from San José del Cabo) so you’ll see some of those eats below, too.

This post is definitely more for the foodie and travel lovers, so if that’s not your style I totally get it! I did more of an actual recap of our trip last year so if you’d like to hear about more of my favorite places in Cabo in general, just head to my post from last year!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Okay we found the CUTEST coffee shop in San José del Cabo and they had the most delicious breakfast!! It’s called Coffee Lab and it’s actually part of a coworking space, but there’s a little table indoors and then a bunch of cute patio seating. The people working there was also super nice, which I always appreciate. I cannot wait to go back!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

The most EPIC Bloody Mary’s I’ve ever seen at Flora Farms! We came here last year for brunch and fell so unbelievably in love with both the food and the grounds (it’s an actual farm and they grow nearly every single thing they serve). We wanted to ball out a little this trip so we did brunch again AND dinner. Pro tip: make reservations as far in advance as possible because this place books up!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Our brunch order: the french toast with mango and banana (honestly drooling just thinking about this) and eggs! I don’t know why I don’t add fresh herbs to my eggs more often…they’re such a game changer!!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

For dinner at Flora Farms a few days later, we shared the guanciale charcuterie plate, then a pizza with prosciutto (which was INSANE) and rabbit! I’d never had rabbit before but it was amazing. I think what made it was the sauce they had on it…and also the roasted carrots and polenta. I took a photo of it but it was blurry! Sorry ’bout that😬

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Salsa and guac by the pool at the JW Marriott where we stayed because MEXICO. I’m pretty sure we ordered this at least twice while we were there😂

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

A coco frio from a truck on the side of the road! It was hot af while we were in Cabo and when we saw this on our drive back from the Cabo Surf Hotel one day, we knew we had to stop. This was $3.50 and had a tonnnn of fresh coconut water in it! So tasty.

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We love to go to a local grocery store to stock up on cheap snacks when we travel and this time we got our favorite bananas! I’m not sure what these are called, but they’re pretty tiny (I ate about 3 at once) and were perfect for a pre or post workout snack.

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Breakfast pastries and coffee at the Hotel San Cristobal in Todos Santos. We had a couple egg dishes after this, but I scarfed them down too quickly to snap a photo…😅We’re already planning to spend a night or two at this gorgeous and peaceful hotel next year!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Ridiculously delicious fish and shrimp tacos at a little spot off the street in Todos Santos. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of this place but it was recommended to us by the staff at the Hotel San Cristobal and did not disappoint! I’m pretty sure each of the tacos was only $1.50 too, – insane, right?!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Post taco popsicles in the 95 degree heat while walking through Todos Santos! I can’t find this place online, but it was super cute and turquoise on the outside! They had tons of ice cream and popsicle options, but I went for yogurt & fruit while Alex chose mango. Both delicious!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

One of the most delicious (and fresh!) noodle bowls I’ve ever tasted at Acre. This was our first time here and we went at dusk – the grounds are so stunning, I can’t wait to visit again in the daytime!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Some kombucha and beer before our flight back to LA! We visited Baja Brewing Co. last year too, and knew we had to go back. We also shared some pizza and a burger that were fantastic here!

 

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Hey y’all!! I’m baaaaaaack!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

I know every human says this but like, how friggin’ awesome would it be if we could just be on vacation forever, you know? Ugh, it was not easy coming back to reality after 5 days out of the office and playing catch up. Hopefully writing this post will transport me back to my Cabo mentality of lounging poolside sipping mojitos 🙂

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

We had such an awesome trip to Mexico that was the perfect combo of exploring and relaxing. If you’ve never been to Cabo before, it’s essentially 2 small cities about 45 minutes away from each other, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. The first is a much more touristy spot with a ton of restaurants and bars, sailing, water sports, and hotels, while the second is farther away from the hustle and bustle and lends itself to a much more laid back vibe (which in my opinion felt more authentic!).

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

We rented a car so that we could explore both and split our trip between a hotel in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. If you’re planning on visiting and don’t necessarily want to do the all-inclusive thing where you barely leave the resort, a car is must! Transportation to and from the airport alone can be an arm and a leg too, so we had flexibility and probably spent about the same amount. More on that later!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

I’m going to spare you most of the boring details of our trip and just give you the highlights! Consider this a mini travel guide in case you’d like to plan your trip to Cabo soon 🙂

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Where we stayed…

Playa Grande – Our hotel in Cabo San Lucas was just a 15 minute walk from all of the restaurants and shops, which was amazing! It was also on the beach, had a massive pool area and the food/drinks were delicious. They had great deals each day too, like 2 for 1 specials. We even lucked out with a top floor room and epic view, too 🙂 Our room was huge and had a balcony – I’d highly recommend this place! The only thing was that wifi (and the fitness center) weren’t included, but for $13/day it was worth it to be able to use our tech!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

JW Marriott – I literally don’t even have words for how gorgeous this hotel is. I know it’s more expensive during peak season, but this place was unreal. They re-did just a couple of years ago after a hurricane and it’s got a very modern feel but with warmth to it too, if that makes sense! The service was unbelievable and the rooms feel so luxurious. They all have balconies as well, and the views make you want to jump out of bed in the morning. With about a zillion infinity pools, amazing restaurants, and a swim-up bar, this place was everything we could’ve asked for. We’re already planning our next trip back!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Where we ate…

The Office – Ok so this place is literally on every Cabo travel guide ever, but it’s kind of just one of those places you have to visit if you’re in the area. The food is classic delicious Mexican food at a decent price, and it’s right on the beach. We actually ended up there on a Thursday night without reservations, and they have a full-on show on Thursdays (as far as I know!) with dancers, contests, and a band. We grabbed margs and guac at the bar while we waited for a table and then ate right on the beach. It was such a fun first night, I’d definitely put this one on your list!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Romeo y Julieta – Okay so this was one of our favorite meals of the whole trip. If you’re looking for a slightly fancier meal that’s not actually super expensive, this is where you’ll find it. The cocktails were so damn good and the food was incredible. From the caesar salad they make right at your table to the homemade pasta and then gelato to finish, this dinner was a standout. The service was stellar and they had a guitarist playing live music, as well.

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Cazuelas del Don – So good we went twice, this hole in the wall (even though it’s actually sort of outside so it’s not?) was unforgettable. It’s run by the sweetest couple ever and serves the most delicious food. Their tortilla soup is absurd and they make these dishes called “cazuelas” that are essentially clay pots filled with meat, vegetables and cheese that you can fill a tortilla with. I’m honestly kind of hungry again just thinking about it. Don’t even dare judge this place by it’s exterior, it is delicious.

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Habanero’s – Another great find in San Jose del Cabo, I bet this restaurant is absolutely packed during peak season. We margs to start and then split two dishes – the chile relleno and (don’t judge me) chipotle tequila bbq baby back ribs. And let me tell you, those ribs were bomb. I distinctly remember us saying we wanted to have a light dinner, but those two dishes were so worth it!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Flora Farms – I totally saved the best for last. Flora Farms is another one that’s on every Cabo travel guide, and for good reason. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this place – it’s the most beautiful and colorful farm right outside San Jose del Cabo and everything they serve, they grow or raise. There’s so much more to see and do than just eat at the restaurant like little shops, a pop-up ice cream stand, a farm tour and a coffee bar. I know they’re opening up a micro-brewery and building homes there, too. Like it’s literally my dream to live there after visiting once. The food is so good, I swear all I said was “mmmmm” for about an hour and a half. Also the Bloody Mary! Do not, I repeat do NOT, skip it. Best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had.

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

And finally, my top 5 travel tips for babes on a budget ’cause let’s be real, this sh*t ain’t free!

1. Do your research – We did at least a coupe of hours of research on flights and hotels before we booked our trip to Cabo. We searched primarily on Kayak, Booking.com and Hotels.com to figure out which hotels offered the best packages and which flights would fit both our budgets and time constraints. We also learned that transportation to and from the airport can be super expensive, plus the two cities we were staying in were 45 minutes apart, so we opted for a car rental. If you plan on doing the same in Cabo, we recommend Cactus – they give you all of the fees up front (which are all super reasonable) as opposed to competitors which show you a cheap price to begin with and then surprise you with a massive bill at the end.

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

2. Pick up basic groceries at a local market – We decided that for breakfast during half our trip, we’d have something healthy and easy – yogurt with fresh fruit and granola. For less than $10, we grabbed 4 bottles of water (definitely do not drink the tap water in Mexico!), 2 croissants, 4 plain yogurts, a bag of granola, a bunch of baby bananas, a 1/4 gallon of milk, 2 mangos and a lime. This lasted us breakfast for two days plus snacks and we used the milk for coffee in the room (a bag of coffee grounds that we also bought!) so we wouldn’t have to buy the $5 cups downstairs at the resort. Plus it was mango season and the mangoes we got were hands down the best ones we’ve ever eaten!

3. Check before you go – I highly recommend doing a quick Google, Yelp or Pinterest search to find out where you want to eat or shop instead of just venturing out and picking the first option you see. One of the best meals we had, and by far the cheapest, was the result of a quick Yelp search that led us to Cazueletas del Don. We loved it so much we actually went twice!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

4. Take advantage of deals – Our first hotel had 2 for 1 drinks that varied day to day. We made sure to check which ones were part of the promo before we ordered, so we ended up getting 2 mojitos for $6 one time and 2 beers for $3 another. We also took advantage of a fixed price menu option at Romeo y Julieta that was 3 courses per person plus coffee all for $65 total. For a nice and delicious meal out, that’s a steal!

5. Know when to splurge – My parents always say, “Who knows if and when you’ll be back? Just enjoy.” Remember that you’re on vacation, which means stressing about petty things like spending some cash here and there for a really delicious dinner or fancy cocktail is a waste of precious time. It also means that if you have the opportunity to take a semi-expensive day trip, like a boat ride around an island where you get to snorkel/kayak/paddleboard/learn about the place you’re visiting, DO IT. One of my favorite memories of all time was kayaking around Lagos, Portugal and I’m confident that if our boat tour in Cabo hadn’t been cancelled this trip due to high seas, it would’ve been a close second. It’s important to be present where you’re traveling and take advantage of the adventure it has to offer.

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That’s all for now, friends! Hope everyone is having a great week!!

xo Jordan

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Portugal Travel Guide.

Almost exactly one year ago, I made a fairly last minute decision to hop on a plane to Europe and visit a country I’d never been to before.

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

I ventured out to Portugal, one of my favorite places of all time, and spent a week exploring with my boyfriend. We had the time of our lives and now know a ton of friends heading that way this summer, so I wanted to put together a travel guide with my recommendations!

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This guide goes in order of our trip after we flew into Porto from Madrid. As for transportation, I recommend renting a car when/where possible and driving down to the south of Portugal. This is the most cost-effective way to see everything and also gives you the freedom to move around if you want to explore other towns!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

PORTO

Where we stayed… After a decent amount of planning, we decided on the Eurostars Porto Douro for our first stop in Portugal and were so happy we did! After a welcome glass of porto (of course!), we found our way up to our gorgeous and modern room that had insane views of the Douro river and bridge. We passed on the breakfast (for however many extra euros) so I can’t speak to that, but I would happily recommend this hotel to absolutely anyone, especially since it was an awesome price! The only thing to note is that you’ll be walking a decent amount, as this hotel is about 10 minutes from the base of the hill/stairs to get up to the actual town of Porto. So worth it!

What we did… Since we only had about 24 hours in Porto, we spent a decent amount of that time just walking through the city, exploring shops, grabbing tapas (a must) and an afternoon cup of cafe. We did stop by this really cool antique type shop that actually had a bar in it too (and a super cute dog!) called the Armazem. I think my two favorite visual memories of Porto are looking out over the city and its gorgeous red roofs from the Torre de Clerigos and taking a moment to sit by the river and people watch.

Not to be missed… If you can, I highly suggest you book a table for dinner at Cantinho de Alvillez. The food was out. of. CONTROL. I think this meal might’ve been our favorite meal of the entire trip, and that’s saying a lot! We even found one of this chef’s restaurants in Lisbon later on in the week, which I’ll mention below. I also recommend taking a look at the NY Times 36 Hours in Porto guide, as that has some awesome recommendations!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

FARO

What we did… Our time in Faro was fairly short because we were eager to get to Lagos, but we did take a stroll through the city, the night we arrived, grabbed a delicious seafood dinner at a nearby restaurant (it’s a fishing town!), and booked a boat trip to the Ilha Deserta, the southern-most part of Portugal!

Not to be missed… The beach on Ilha Deserta is so, so beautiful! It’s fairly cheap and quick to take the boat ride over, and we spent the day there. The water was a bit chilly and rough the day we went, but it was hot so it was very refreshing! There’s one restaurant there that we loved called Estamine where we had homemade pasta with clams, salads, and oysters. The fish was so fresh and the service was amazing, too!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.
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LAGOS

Where we stayed… Ok so we kind of splurged on this one since it was our one really nice night of the week. Lagos is a pretty romantic place in my opinion, and we pretty much stayed at the most romantic boutique hotel ever – the Hotel Vivenda Miranda. I can’t even say enough wonderful things about this place – the people are so welcoming and there’s champagne waiting for you when you check in so you can relax on the veranda and look out over the cliffs to the ocean. The room itself was pretty massive for two as well, with its own patio and everything. The views from this place are definitely worth noting, as well as the incredible buffet breakfast (so many options!) and gorgeous pool. I’m dying to go back here!!!

What we did… Exploring the town of Lagos the night we arrived was SO fun, we just found a cute restaurant for some more seafood (it’s their specialty, we couldn’t pass it up!) and gelato…duh. We also booked a kayaking tour for the next day, which I literally recommend to anyone who tells me they’re going to Portugal. The cliffs and rock formations on the outer parts of the Algarve are so stunning and you can’t really get the full view unless you’re way out in the ocean. We did the kayaking tour for a few hours that day, which starts and ends on a little boat that takes you out there. The tour goes in and out of the rocks and they tell you all about the history of the city and what each formation represents. It’s insanely beautiful, I wish I’d had a waterproof camera back then but I took lots of mental photographs 🙂

Not to be missed… Whether its 99 degrees during your trip (like it was for ours!) or a bit cooler, the Praia Dona Ana (pictured above) is a MUST. You will never see anything else like it, I can promise you that. To get to the beach that’s surrounded by rocky cliffs, you’ll go down a pretty large set of stairs. There isn’t a ton of space to lay out, but the Portuguese are nice so you’ll have friendly neighbors! We brought beer, bread and cheese with us for a picnic and took a dip in the water after lunch. The seas can be a bit rough, but if you go in the summer you’ll need to brave it! The image of this beach, with its cliffs and colorful beach umbrellas, is engrained in my mind with the fondest of memories!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

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Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

LISBON

Where we stayed… The best pick for Lisbon in my opinion is an AirBnb! There are tons of great options and the prices are awesome. The other thing is that you probably won’t be spending much time in the room anyway since you’ll be out exploring, so splurging on a fancy hotel room doesn’t make too much sense (unless you want to!). I also think it’s kind of nice staying in the heart of a real neighborhood instead of someplace touristy, too. You get a better feel of what it’s like to live there, I think! Here’s the link to ours – we LOVED it.

What we did… So because it was hot as a mother the two days we had in Lisbon, we actually decided to spend the majority of our days in Cascais (a train ride away!) and Sintra, which are both detailed down below. The afternoons and nights we spent in the city, though! This is another city that’s perfect for just taking a stroll and exploring. There are so many shops and cafes to sip sangria at! We found another restaurant by the chef from the place we had dinner at in Porto called Pizzaria Lisboa – so delish! We also stopped by a bar afterwards called Pensao Amor. This place has so much character around every corner, and even a sex shop in one of them in case your drinks make you feel frisky 😉

Not to be missed… The Time Out Market was definitely one of the highlights of the entire trip. We went here twice, once before our train ride and day trip to Cascais, and once after for dinner. There are endless options and everything is insanely delicious. The gelato and doughnuts were standouts in my eyes, as well as the jamon iberico and cheese plate!!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

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Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

CASCAIS

What we did… This town is so charming, I fell in love immediately. After walking around and exploring, we headed down to the beach for a mojito and some standup paddle-boarding! The water is super warm (at least in the summer) and the beach is packed. Doing a water activity is a good plan since you’ll fit in some activity while getting to see the coastline from out in the water! As far as I remember, it couldn’t have been more than $20 to rent the board for an hour or so, either!

Not to be missed… You have to HAVE to go to the House of Wonders. I can literally still remember this meal because it was so fresh and delicious. We actually went here twice in two days because we were craving something healthy by the end of our trip! Their healthy plates are packed with veggies, but they have fresh smoothies and pastries, too! The rooftop is the perfect place to dine since you can see out over the town, and it’s so colorful!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.
Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

SINTRA

What we did… There are two gorgeous castles in Sintra, but we only had time for one of them. We went for the Quinta da Regaleira since my boyfriend had been to the Pena Palace before (it’s the super colorful one you’ve probably seen in photos!). We drove our rental car way up to the hill, grabbed some croissants and coffees, and then walked the rest of the way to the castle, which has so much to see! There are many gardens, secret tunnels and caves, a beautiful well that you can climb up, and the gorgeous castle itself. The views from the grounds are gorgeous, as well!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

Alright friends, that’s all for today! Have you ever been to Portugal before? If you have any other recommendations, please share them in the comments so others can see them, and if anyone is thinking about going there, I’m happy to answer any questions 🙂

xo Jordan

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

3 Travel Hacks to Keep Your Budget in Check.

Hello Hello! I know I say this pretty much every month, but can you believe it’s almost May already?! Where the heck is time going?!

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I suppose when you’re busy and traveling, time goes by way faster, though. I just got back from my weekend in San Francisco and it totally flew by. I had so much fun hangin’ with my boyfriend, one of my best friends whose wedding is in less than 3 weeks (!!!!!!!) and my other childhood friend who’s been my bestie since literally the first day of kindergarten. I still can’t believe I have two of my closest friends of all time in the same state as me, and just an hour flight away no less!

That being said, I’m definitely not the type of person who can afford, or even take time off work, to be jet-setting all the time, but my friendships take a priority in my life. To balance it all out, I’ve found ways to save on my trips that make life a lot easier! Aside from the obvious ones like getting a credit card with airline mileage points, using Airbnb instead of hotels, and flying at off-peak times, here are my favorite money-saving travel hacks that also help you stick with your health and fitness goals while you’re away.

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Plan Ahead. – 2 words: Airplane. Snacks. – Nobody likes to spend $12 on a mediocre sandwich that’s been sitting out for 4 hours, or even worse, a soggy salad. I refuse. On my flight out to SF last weekend, I shoveled in a turkey wrap from Trader Joe’s that I made sure to pick up that day during my lunch break. On the way back home, I wasn’t starving, but didn’t want to wait until I landed at 9:15 to eat something, so I snacked on a Lenny and Larry’s cookie in one of my favorite flavors, snickerdoodle (aka heaven). Occasionally I’ll pick up something from the airport when the options are decent (they seem to be getting better!), but taking the extra 5 minutes to think ahead when you’re at the grocery store can save you the cash and calories down the line. That’s actually good advice in generally, really!

Dancing for Donuts | Travel Hacks for Keeping Your Budget in Check.

Bring Breakfast. – This tip is super similar to the one above, but i worth mentioning. Who else has spent $10 on a nasty bowl of plain oatmeal from the hotel market downstairs in hopes of picking the healthier option over the breakfast burrito? *Raises hand.* Word to the wise: go with the breakfast burrito for the taste & fullness factor and just add a few minutes to your workout later ’cause let me tell you, that bowl of oats is not worth it. What is worth it, however, is that whole planning ahead thing. I bought this $2 cup of instant oatmeal from TJ’s (when I was pick up my dinner from the night before) and used the coffee pot in our hotel room to make hot water. Add a sliced banana and you’re good to go, just make sure your instant oatmeal doesn’t have a billion grams of sugar (this one didn’t and I highly recommend it!). Saving on breakfast is so much easier and more worth it than any other meal when you’re traveling because most of the best restaurants are lunch and dinner places, anyway!

Dancing for Donuts | Travel Hacks for Keeping Your Budget in Check.

WALK. – I don’t know about you, but I freaking love walking. That may be the New York City gal in me, but I think walking is not only a total stress reliever, but a really easy way to get some exercise in. When you’re traveling, Ubers can add up real fast. Now, if you’re in a city like San Francisco that has some unexpected dicey areas, you’ll definitely want to Uber if you’re going more than a mile or so in a place you’re not sure of, but if you’re just going to dinner or hitting a few spots that are near each other, just save your cash and work off your afternoon snack at the same time. Plus, walking after dinner and/or drinks is literally the best, especially if it’s nice out! You get to digest a little before you go to sleep and enjoy the fresh air before heading back to a stuffy hotel room. It’s a win-win.

Alright y’all, that’s it for now! Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

xo Jordan