New Beginnings in a Wanderlust Nation

Hello loves! Thank you so much for all the love and support you’ve given Taylor’s Titillating Travels over the years. It’s been amazing and I’ve loved sharing all my stories with you. I will still be bringing you fun little stories, but I’m broadening my horizons. Soon we will launch Wanderlust Nation, a new website-based travel blog with more videos and varying media. I enjoy sharing my personal stories, but I really want to bring the focus on to inspiring others to travel in new ways. I am very sad to let go of my slightly suggestive title, but I think Wanderlust Nation is going to capture a whole new realm of traveling. It’s going to be slow going at first, but I hope you all hang in there! I’ll leave you with a little something I wrote. For me it’s hopeful, it’s saying goodbye to one chapter and opening another.

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These Days

I keep a suitcase packed by the bed
Ready to go at a moment’s notice, passport in hand
I’m nearing thirty and I’m still a teenage runaway
But I guess they just call it leaving these days

Most days the real world stagnates around me
And I escape to far off lands
Just a little movement to keep myself from atrophy
But I guess they just call it surviving these days

You tell me jetlag is a myth
But how do you know if you never leave the zone?
You stay tethered to the still life you’ve created
But I guess they call it stability these days

I’ve missed a funeral, weddings, and a birth
I miss the late nights at The Pub, paying for our youth
Those moments that remind us of what we all have in store for us
But I guess that’s what they call reality these days

I keep my family and friends close to my heart
Yet I keep stepping out, always leaving them behind
In hopes of forgetting the one thing I’m missing
But I guess that’s what they call loneliness these days

The rhythm in my soul keeps beating
A drumming pulling me on at an invisible pace
Away from the known into the expanse of the lives I haven’t lived
But I guess that’s what they call wanderlust these days

So I’ll see you when my feet hit the ground
And be gone before you can remember my face
Leave you with the memories of girl once etched in your mind
But I guess they just call me a gypsy these days

I just want you to remember my name

 

xoxo Taylor

6 Tips for Traveling with Babies and Kids

Recently a friend of mine asked me if I had any advice for traveling with babies. Not having any children of my own I had to really sit down and think about it, but I think I’ve seen enough traveling parents doing it all wrong to give you a few insider tips.

Check your suitcase.

We’ve all seen those parents trying to lug six bags, a baby, and a car seat down the aisle, hitting everyone in the shoulders along the way. To avoid looking like the lady in Labyrinth who carries everything she possesses on her back first thing to do is check your larger bags of clothes and things you won’t need. That gives you a few less things to lug around. Also, you won’t get stopped during boarding for having too many items.

Pack light and give your kids some credit.

Bring only what you absolutely need onto the plane. If you have kids old enough to wear a backpack put a few entertainment items in there and help them pack. When I was a kid my parents would make me carry my own bags. All of them. I learned really quickly what I needed and what I didn’t. I have them to thank for my being a pro-packer.

Walk Around

If you have a fussy baby get up and walk around the aisles (if the seatbelt sign is off). Your fellow passengers would rather have you moving around than listen to a screaming child. Just don’t stand in the galleys. The reason for this is, one, should an emergency occur there aren’t enough oxygen masks for you and your baby. There is, however, one additional oxygen mask at every row of seats. Two, there are many moving parts and sharp corners in galleys and should something not be stowed properly, you or your child could be injured.

Preboard

Most airlines call for passengers with small children to board early. Take advantage of this! It will give you a few additional minutes before the aisles get crowded to get your family together and everyone strapped safely into their seats.

Bring your own supplies

Most airlines don’t carry diapers or wet-wipes. Bring what you need and you won’t have to stress. Likewise, if you or a member of your family has a special dietary restriction or medical condition do not forget to bring their special snacks and medication. Selections on the plane and airport or not usually “special diet friendly” and you never know when a passenger is going to bust out a bag of peanuts or other allergens.

Please use the facilities

Don’t forget to take your kids to the restroom before you board. Either you’re going to get stuck by the lavatories while everyone boards or everyone will hate you when you get up to take your kid to the restroom on taxi and they have to stop the aircraft and delay take off. Also, most aircrafts have changing tables that drop down in the lavatories. Everyone will thank you for not changing your baby on the seat or tray table, which is unlikely to get cleaned before the next flight. Ew.

The Art of Packing Like a Pro

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Once upon a time I took a 2 ½ week trip to Europe with my high school. All my classmates, lugging around suitcases the size of coffins, were astounded when I showed up with a standard sized suitcase and backpack. “How did you fit enough clothes and toiletries in there?” they asked. Through many years of travel and my mom making me run numerous times through the Chicago airport I’ve gotten the hang of packing precisely what I need and packing it well. I would like to impart to you a few tips on the art of packing.

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Multi-Use Items

When packing go for not only colors that go together, but also layers and items that can be worn numerous times, like jeans. For ladies, bringing a few camis or light shirts you can wear under other items means you can reuse a few tops.

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Roll It

I know there are people who swear by packing cubes, which I have yet to try, but I prefer a simpler method. Bring clothes that don’t wrinkle easily and roll them as tightly as you can like they’re a sleeping bag. This creates more space for the important things (Tip: When returning with fragile souvenirs, roll your clothes and socks around them for protection).

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Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes

I rarely forget items because, one, I never really unpack. Two, my method of packing is infallible (at least for me). I start from the top and work my way down. What does my hair need? A brush, products, and a hat or headband, etc. Face? I have eyes so I need glasses, contacts, blah blah blah. I go all the way to my feet and then worry about what goes in my backpack later.

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“Take Only What You Need to Survive”

Often times people don’t know what to expect so they bring everything but the kitchen sink and end up not even touching half of what they bring. Know the environment you’re going to and rethink every item you’re bringing. Can you live without it for a few days? Probably. My best example is a hair dryer. Almost every hotel or accommodation has one and with the right product you don’t actually need one. So don’t waste the space.

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Don’t Skimp on the Skivvies 

The one item you’re allowed to bring way too much of is underwear because you never know when you’re going to get stuck somewhere and your grandmother would be so disappointed if you weren’t wearing clean undies. Plus, it’s a pain to wash them in the sink and I guarantee they won’t dry as fast as you want them to.

I hope you all found this helpful. Share your favorite packing tips in the comments below!

A Traveler’s Dream Christmas List

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat thanks to gluehwein and cookies! While Christmas is really the time for family and being of good cheer, let’s be honest, you’re probably going to buy presents for someone (and going to totally double up for those with birthdays nearby, right? RIGHT?). So I’ve compiled a list of great gifts for the traveler in your family or circle of friends.

The Fashionable Traveler

Travel Scarf

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Not only is this scarf adorable and will keep a traveler warm in cold locations (like a plane), but it also has a secret pocket to hide your passport in! No one will think to rob a scarf.

Map Shoes

Map Shoes

The lady wearing these Jeffery Campbells can clunk around with a map on her feet. If she gets lost all she has to do is look down. Ok, maybe not, but at least she’ll look cute while lost.

Jewelry

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Most ladies like jewelry so why not get her some jewelry related to her favorite pastime? (Adventure AwaitsAdventure is Calling)

The Savvy Boozehound

Let’s be honest, drinking in many countries and large cities is expensive. So, here’s a few gifts for the party traveler amongst you.

Flask

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There are a myriad of fun flasks out there, but few that incorporate travel. If you’re drinking from a flask people are probably going to assume you’re an American, so proudly confirm their suspicions with this.

Collapsible Wine Bottle

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Have you ever been moseying about the beautiful countryside, and thought, This would be a beautiful place for a picnic with some wine and cheese. If only I had a collapsible wine bottle so I didn’t have to lug all that glass around. Just me? Either way, this is a great alternative way to transport wine/liquor. Never miss out on that wine infused picnic again!

The Photographer/ Travel Blogger/ Videographer etc.

Carrying around a a heavy camera bag gets really tiresome and identifies you as a tourist almost as quickly as wearing that camera around your neck and sporting a Hawaiian shirt. For the budding and pro camera jockey look no further than these:

Camera Backpack

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This will keep your precious traveler from getting a hunchback and keep their equipment dry. And look! There’s a place for your tripod and tablet too!

Camera Purse

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Because some of us just want to look cute and fashionable while shooting photos.

The Fitness Enthusiast

Ear Buds and Armband

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Running in a new city is a great way to see the sights and stay in shape, but wires flap around annoyingly. End the wire flapping! I like this one by FreePeople, but I’m sure there are plenty, less expensive and equally cute ones.

The Wanderlusters

Bag Tag

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It has a J. R. R. Tolkien quote. Need I say more?

Convertible Clothing

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Encircle runs a bit pricey, but this cardi will take your travel lady from drab to fab, from cold plane to fun and games. It also is great from those who like to travel light but still look cute.

 

So there you have it. What are some travel items you’re lusting after this holiday season? Share in the comments below!