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Loctote Review

I’m a walking tour guide, and quite honestly I hate taking my big backpack with me on every tour in New York City. In this Loctote review, I cover my thoughts on the simple yet powerful drawstring (or drawcord) rather bag that I take with me during my days adventuring around New York City.

At first glance, this can look like just another drawstring bag but upon closer inspection, you can quickly begin to see why this thing is advertised as such a resilient bag Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. . When I first got my Loctote in the mail on initial opening I was so stunned by the sheer quality of the bag itself. I knew it was meant to withstand slashing, but I wasn’t expecting such a thick and quality material.

It’s hard to describe!

LOCTOTE Flak Sack SPORT - Lightweight Theft-Resistant Drawstring Backpack Price: $119.00 LOCTOTE Flak Sack SPORT - Lightweight Theft-Resistant Drawstring Backpack Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

Thoughts upon opening the box:

“Woah, this isn’t your average light-as-air drawstring bag.”

That’s because it’s slash proof. The Loctote is made of a perfectly blended fabric that doesn’t rip when a knife slashes it. Get this, it’s actually being used for law enforcement clothing now! The straps also have a small cable in them that make it difficult to cut through. This is not your average, light as air, drawstring bag. This is something that you will buy and keep forever (unlike those drawstring bags that wouldn’t even make it through a week at summer camp).

“Woah, the inside is fancy.”

It’s lined, and there are pockets! There is nothing I love more than a pocket in a backpack. Quick access to your valuables and bonus, it’s RFID blocking, so not even electronic pickpockets will make it into your bag. Ask Ian, he’s fallen victim to this before. :/

“How does this work?”

I jumped right in pulling on this, tugging on that, spinning the combination lock, and quickly realized that maybe I should glance over that very detailed instruction sheet laying in the box. When I say detailed, I really mean detailed, and you may need that detail level to operate the custom Loctote lock. It allows you to program your own combination to something you’ll actually remember (thank goodness)!

In Use:

The coolest part about the Loctote is how you can lock it and leave it. Once the bag is tightened, a cable pulls out in the front that has a small silver loop attached. If the cable is pulled out far enough, there will be two silver brackets exposed. The custom lock wraps through the silver loop and the two silver brackets on the cable. Lock it around a park bench, a chain link fence, anything that’s stationary, and go live your life without a worry in the world. It’s that simple.

I, personally, use my bag every day in the city. It fits all of my things, is easy to throw over my shoulder, and gives me peace of mind that in whatever situation my bag will be safe. You may think that some of the features are drastic, but they come in handy when you lock up your bag to throw a frisbee with your friends in Central Park.

A lot of times, I pile all of my things into my boyfriends’ backpack because I don’t want to lug mine around. I don’t have any excuses anymore with this bag. It’s a great size that’s in between a purse and a normal backpack: Perfect for a wallet, camera, and water bottle (which is generally everything I need in life).

All in all, if you’re looking for that perfect hybrid between a backpack and an “adventure around the city” type bag this will be your best bet.

LOCTOTE Flak Sack SPORT - Lightweight Theft-Resistant Drawstring Backpack Price: $119.00 LOCTOTE Flak Sack SPORT - Lightweight Theft-Resistant Drawstring Backpack Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

Introducing Life Nomading Podcast 2.0

Life Nomading Podcast Artwork

Kicking off 2019 with a bang, we’d like to introduce the new and improved Life Nomading podcast! No longer a dormant trove of audio files, instead we’re back and we’re excited to be bringing you fresh travel episodes every single Monday morning. So tune in and spend some time every week with Caroline and me as we explore the world and share it with you.

In this episode, we give a rundown of what all has happened and what is currently going on at Life Nomading since the last episode 3 years ago. Buckle up, because we have plenty of exciting news to share.

Show Notes

Mentioned in this episode:

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Show Transcript

Ian Hoyt: And she’s not kidding, we’re literally sitting on the floor. We have two microphones, different microphone, cardboard boxes, cardboard boxes. We have one glass of whiskey to offset the frustration of setting up technology. Just so we can record semi decent audio. So wherever you’re at, you can hear us

Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow nomads. This is Ian and Caroline, and this is the Life Nomading podcast,

Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow listeners. Welcome back to the Life Nomading podcast. It’s been awhile. It’s been about three years, two years since the last substantial episode has hit your podcast feed, so I’m pumped if you’re listening from the past life, but I’m even more excited if you’re a new listener. Excited to go in this 2019 journey with us as we reboot Life Nomading and bring some travel content and I’m not alone this time. I have a cohost and her name is Caroline. Caroline, how’s it going?

Caroline Lloyd: It’s going well. I’m excited to be here.

Ian Hoyt: Is it weird having microphones in your face?

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, I’ve pretty much tried to avoid that at all costs in my life. Um, There’s a reason that I’m not a singer like everyone else in my family, so this is a step of bravery for me.

Ian Hoyt: And we are sitting on the floor of our New York apartment in Harlem because we can’t afford anything else

Caroline Lloyd: with mics propped up by cardboard boxes.

Ian Hoyt: Literally cardboard boxes. We had to throw the cat out because it was pawing at all the chords. But anyway, we’re here. Uh, we’re happy to have you. Thanks for listening. Uh, we’re going to make this quick. This is a quick little intro episode. Life Nomading podcast has existed before, but we’re new. We’re improved and we’re ready.

Caroline Lloyd: We’re going to be consistent.

Ian Hoyt: Consistency is key. Anyone that has gotten anywhere has been consistent in life. So we are going to be doing this podcast every single week.

Caroline Lloyd: New episodes dropping on Mondays for your morning commute to make them a little bit less miserable and you can dream about traveling the world on your way to work.

Ian Hoyt: And to that point Life Nomading has been in an evolution the last two or three years since I last graced you with a podcast episode.

Caroline Lloyd: Graced you with that lovely voice.

Ian Hoyt: It was still deep back then. I was still old enough to have a deep voice.

Caroline Lloyd: I feel like you were up playing it a little bit more like you’re. You’re not like going full radio host right now,

Ian Hoyt: Which is good. I hope not. I’m not. I’m trying to be authentic Yo, but here we are so we have this podcast, but Life Nomading is so much more than a podcast now. So Life Nomading started in like 2014 for context for me to write about my feelings about travel and life in general and people actually started to read it. People actually started to connect over it, not just with me but with other readers. We created a facebook group and then all of a sudden this community started to form out of thin air and I was pretty excited. People were connecting over this travel thing, this, you know, doing something different than the regular normal thing and so from 2014 to now it has evolved from being just a blog and a podcast to now we’re doing so much more and for example, this year actually, or sorry last year in 2018, we launched our first group trip to Iceland, a Life Nomading group trip is where we take about 10 people and we just, we plan it all and people arrive into this awesome foreign country they’ve never been to before and we do incredible things that are authentic to the culture in the country,

Caroline Lloyd: but it’s not your typical group travel, right? So it’s not just everyone piling onto a coach bus and you sit there all day and look out the window. You’re really truly experiencing things. You’re getting to know your fellow travelers. You are exploring on your own and you are testing the boundaries of who you are in this new area. This new country, so it’s really different than, you know, walking around with a tour guide with the flag on. So we want the group trip to be really authentic.

Ian Hoyt: Absolutely. And uh, I’m not going to ruin the itinerary or like what do we do in Iceland? You’re either going to have to go on that trip or b. Listen to future episodes to learn more about that. Uh, but what I can say is of all the people on that trip, uh, we got so many responses, hey, this actually changed my life, like this made me want to travel more or made me want to do x, y, z after this trip we can’t stop talking about this trip. And that was exciting to us because our whole mission at Life Nomading is to make group travel authentic. And so group trips have been great and we’re expanding those trips and we’ll talk a little bit more about that in a second. Actually, maybe we should backtrack even more. Let’s Caroline, who are you?

Caroline Lloyd: I have always wanted to travel. Um, but I’ve also been a very tight planner in life in my day to day activities. I walk around with a paper planner is still, I know that most people don’t even know this existed anymore. Um, but I had very clear cut timelines for my life and traveling, unfortunately, did not fit into that timeline. So, you know, I was following my life timeline pretty perfectly if I do say so myself. Um, and I found myself in a job that I had pretty much dreamed of my entire life. Um, and then I realized that I had accomplished it pretty quickly. I was pretty curious to travel again. So I quit my job in summer 2018 to take a two month trip with Ian.

Ian Hoyt: So also for context, we gotta we gotta set the stage for this pinnacle change that happened. Do you remember the night vividly?

Caroline Lloyd: We’re cooking dinner in your apartment.

Ian Hoyt: My sublet apartment watching Netflix and we’re watching some random.

Caroline Lloyd: You know, one of those like, like millennial generation, quit your job, travel the world, live in a bus, take your dog, live your best life, really inspirational indie music.

Ian Hoyt: Mogli, right? Yeah. Awesome music. We Love Mogli. If, if, if you’re listening, can we use your music in our podcast anyway…

Caroline Lloyd: So like I still, I can’t take off without playing that album because it just reminds me that I am off to a new adventure and that is just a pinnacle moment. Anyway.

Ian Hoyt: Music has so much deployed with adventure for some reason it’s Cliche, but we’re sitting there watching this documentary now mind you, obviously I have context, I’ve traveled, blah, blah, blah, blah. You on the other hand, you know you’ve stayed domestic. You haven’t really gone many places.

Caroline Lloyd: For context. I was looking for other jobs at the time, so I got to this crossroads where I could either continue applying and I think I was on like a second interview for a new job

Ian Hoyt: And you’re just hating it. You’re just not into it.

Caroline Lloyd: I didn’t realize it that I knew I wanted out of my job, but I didn’t realize that I was applying for jobs that would put me back in that exact situation two years down the road. And I think when I realized that that gave me the courage to, you know, make a drastic change in my life.

Ian Hoyt: And so we were watching that thing and did we book the tickets that day? Was it that day?

Caroline Lloyd: No, we were going to go to South America first and then we’re looking at South America for a really long time and we had grand plans of going for a full year.

Ian Hoyt: So we sat on the concept of dropping the grand vision was dropped everything and travel indefinitely, like a true, true, true, true, true nomad.

Caroline Lloyd: And I’m like there’s absolutely no way that we’re going to be able to do this. And I’m the type that’s just like, it works itself out, which we need to get back to you. We met in the middle, we met in the middle and things worked out a lot easier that way anyways, so we’re trying to figure out where to go, how to do this. And so Ian pulls in his expertise, friends Mitko and Sarah.

Ian Hoyt: Shout out to them. They’re also on the team.

Caroline Lloyd: So originally we were just asking them for advice or like, you know what, what to do, how to get started.

Ian Hoyt: Sarah was and they travel extensively together, which traveling as a couple, as much different than traveling solo. We sat on the idea and we realized that they were going to be in eastern Europe in the summer like they always are because Mitko, he is originally from Bulgaria and we’re like, why don’t we just go hang out with them? I think that’s Kinda just how I happened.

Caroline Lloyd: Well we didn’t ask. We politely were invited first and then we weighed our options and we accepted.

Ian Hoyt: So she drops her job. We have a logistical nightmare of finding like four sublets.

Ian Hoyt: We should do a whole episode of sub-leasing in New York. We don’t want to get sidetracked too much, but long story short, my biggest phrase in life is it’ll all just work out, which is cliche and really simplistic. But what happened?

Caroline Lloyd: So three subleasers later. We put our stuff in storage and we left for Europe for two months.

Ian Hoyt: We found three subletters at all different levels of subletting.

Caroline Lloyd: I had attempted to find a job that I could work remotely during the trip and ended up applying for jobs while I was on the trip, which still works out.

Ian Hoyt: It’s going to be another episode for sure on how to work and travel and just all that crazy stuff. But long story short is we spent the summer in eastern Europe, um, a majority of it in Bulgaria. And um, that’s actually where our next group trip is going to be for 2019. Uh, so that’s a long-winded way of explaining how we got from a blog, podcast to Iceland to Bulgaria to a new podcast and welcome. We’re excited to be here.

Caroline Lloyd: So we spent the summer in Europe and it was great and we’ll have episodes about that later. But one of the things that kind of came to us in a miraculous moment of realization was when we get to a new destination, new city or new country, the first thing that we would do on the morning that we woke up we went on a walking tour.

Caroline Lloyd: Now in Europe, a lot of the walking tours are free. They happen every day and there are just crowds of people that come to them and it gives so much context for the rest of your stay in whatever destination that you’re in, you know, the landscape where things are, you know, best areas for restaurants, history, culture. It was just so informative and changed the way that we interpreted what that city had to offer that we had to take a step back and realize that we live in a city that is, you know, a pinnacle city of the US. So after going on all of these walking tours in Europe, we wanted to start our own in New York. Now New York is not short of any tours or tourist attractions.

Ian Hoyt: I think they have like five, I think.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, I mean you can like to cover your basis. Uh, but we wanted to offer something different.

Caroline Lloyd: You know, we wanted to offer your things from a local’s perspective with the history and the context that you need, but really giving a true, authentic experience which aligns with what we do on our group trips. Yeah. So one of the ways that we made it really stand out and be authentic is that we started doing tours in our favorite area of the city, which is the Upper West Side. And after doing a little bit of research we realized that there weren’t any tours of this area, which is a shame because it’s very historical and it’s beautiful in a lot of people. Never even make it outside of Times Square. Right. So we launched our upper west side tour and then we also launched a midtown tour, which does cover a lot of the touristy sites, but from an experiential standpoint that is a little bit more authentic.

Caroline Lloyd: So we have two tours going on in New York right now and it’s really been eyeopening. I’m kind of relating back to where Life Nomading started with the blog. We’ve really started to see a community start to build. So within this community, we’re starting to, you know, make connections all over the world and it feels really great to share our city with international travelers just as we learn about their city when we’re traveling. Um, so it’s kind of reciprocal feedback there.

Ian Hoyt: We just want to be the vessel to be able to meet other travelers and we’re hoping that we can do that with this podcast, with the blog and with our trips and tours, we’re extremely excited to be back at it podcasting and above all else consistently every single week. On what day?

Caroline Lloyd: Mondays.

Ian Hoyt: Every single Monday we’re going to be here with new travel content, whether it’s interviews with industry experts, uh, whether it’s a new travel guide or hacking guide of some sort or other, or whether it’s just kind of a chronicle of our experiences in different countries and cities. We’re going to be bringing something new to you every week for your commute or for your walking the dog time and we hope that maybe it helps you push over the ledge that we pushed over ourselves and begin traveling more.

Ian Hoyt: So if you’re down for some travel content, you’re down for learning a little bit more about how to travel more in your life. Maybe this is the podcast to subscribe to. We’d love to have you. So until next time I’m Ian.

Caroline Lloyd: I’m Caroline

Ian Hoyt: And if you have any suggestions for us for future episodes, please email us at podcast[@]www.lifenomading.com. That’s podcast[@]www.lifenomading.com.

Most Comfortable Way to Sleep in a Tent

most comfortable way to sleep in a tent

It’s no secret that the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent can be a hard task while out there adventuring in the world. Over the course of my tent adventuring days, I have found a few techniques and products that I have used to make sleeping in a tent as enjoyable an experience as humanly possible.

It’s also worth mentioning that cold and warm weather comfort are very different when it comes to staying comfortable in a tent.

How to Sleep in the Great Outdoors

When it comes to general knowledge about getting a great nights sleep in a tent I have a few pointers for you:

  1. Be sure to choose a safe and level campsite.
  2. If you’re unable to find a flat area to pitch your tent, be sure that your head is at least above your toes when sleeping. This ensures you don’t wake up in the middle of the night with headaches or worse.
  3. To avoid a late night soaking, don’t forget to put the rain fly Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. above your tent to prevent the morning dew or worse a night time storm from getting into your tent.

Most Comfortable Way to Sleep in a Tent in Cold Weather

comfortable sleep in a tent in cold weather

Being a midwest native I’m no stranger to a cold night.

That’s why I prefer to bundle up and prepare for a cold night over a warm one anytime. However, there are a few things to remember when preparing for the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent during the colder months.

Keep the base layer loose

Wear loose-fitting clothing for a base layer to allow blood to flow through your body during sleep.

Light Exercises

Do a few light exercises before bundling up in your sleeping bag Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. . This allows for your body to generate more heat, especially on cold nights.

Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Sleeping Bag, Regular, Paradise Blue/Twilight Price: $116.95 Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Sleeping Bag, Regular, Paradise Blue/Twilight Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

Invest in a good Sleeping Pad

Be sure to have a good sleeping pad Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. to keep you far enough away from the cold ground below.

Comfortable Ways to Sleep in Warm Weather

Admittedly, warm weather camping is the type of camping I find myself doing the most.

Whether it be in a campground or in the middle of a dessert, the mugginess of a warm weather camp day can really make sleeping in tents uncomfortable.

Hydrate

In almost any situation hydration is your friend. I’ve found that the difference between a miserably hot day and a bearable hot day can be directly attributed to how hydrated I’ve kept myself throughout the day. We’d also recommend you use a water filter if you’re grabbing water from local sources. Bad water could wreak havoc on your adventure. Keep it clean and run it through a filter.

Stay Cool

It’s no secret that a powered fan or an endless supply of ice cubes could help in the warm weather environment. Although we know this could be a luxury to have in some environments, a rechargeable fan could be just the added amenity needed to make the warm weather a bit more enjoyable.

OPOLAR 5000mAh Battery Operated Fan, Camping, Outdoor Price: $25.99 OPOLAR 5000mAh Battery Operated Fan, Camping, Outdoor Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 12/11/2018

Repell the Bugs

Warm weather, more often than not means bugs will definitely be bugging you during your trip.

Besides the obvious mosquito spray, we recommend you pick up some permethrin. Permethrin Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. is an insecticide that will kill many of your pests on contact. You can get the spray to use in covering your clothes and gear to protect a majority of your exposure.

Additionally, it’s recommended that you pick yourself up a portable mosquito repeller to give your sleeping radius some peace from those bugs.

Thermacell MR150 Portable Mosquito Repeller Price: $24.99 Thermacell MR150 Portable Mosquito Repeller Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

 

Overall

getting comfortable sleep in a campgroundWhether you’re adventuring in a winter wonderland or a hot dessert we hope you find some peace and quiet as you slumber. It sounds obvious, but the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent is a product of how well you prepare for your camping trip.

Be sure to judge accordingly and don’t try to skimp out on the small things that could make your sleep ten times more enjoyable.

We hope you have some exciting new camping and sleeping adventures, and as always comment below with any additional tips you have for a more enjoyable sleep in a tent.

Best Slacklines For 2019

Leio Mclaren | Slackline | Group Trips | Life Nomading | Best Slacklines 2017

If you’ve never done slacklining before, then let me tell you that it is a stimulating activity and has several health benefits associated with it. It is a fun sport that is portable, easy to set up, and a ton of fun. Buying a slackline can get tricky though due to all the different types of slacklining styles and rigs available. We have broken down the best slacklines for 2019 by all the different styles, to save you the hassle.

If you are a beginner slackliner, we covered that in a previous article which is a good starting point.

What are the different styles of slacklining?

As mentioned before, there are many types of slacklining with new styles popping up every day. Here is a quick snapshot of the styles.

Walklining

Walklining is your standard slacklining. It just involves the basic act of walking across. While some may apply style and small moves into this type of slacklining it is nothing like trick lining, which is more active and involves more bouncing.

Tricklining

Tricklining is about busting out sick moves. It includes all sorts of tricks from spin moves to jumps and even flips. Thanks to the elasticity of the band, trickliners will alternate many times from landing on their stomach, knees, and feet. Tricklines are usually bouncier and made of a more elastic lining.

Waterlining

Any style of slacklining over water is considered waterlining. Any type of slackline can be used for slacklining, but there are specific waterlines. A waterline is specifically designed to resist the wear and tear that can happen to the line due to water.

Longlining

Longlining is the act of slacklining with a very long slackline. Most slacklines are 25-50ft, while longlines are around 100 feet or 30 meters. It can involve all other types or styles of slacklining, as long the line itself is long. Due to the length, longlines usually have less tension and sag a little more as you walk on them. Due to this, fewer tricks are done on long lines but a popular move is swaying back and forth which is called surfing. The one downside to a

The one downside to a longline is that a ratchet rigging system typically cannot work, so you will have to manually rig it using a pulley system. This pulley system is more difficult to set up and not recommended for beginners

Highlining (Airlining)

Highlining can be done with any type of slackline. Due to the height, it is typically done with a pulley rigged longline. This is for daredevils and thrill seekers. With a high line, it is always recommended to have a leash and harness in case you fall.

Closer Look at the Best Slacklines for 2019

Below we have a more in-depth look at each product.

Best Trickline – Slackline Industries Trickline

Has a high amount of reviews and is extremely easy to set up, taking no more than 10 minutes. Moreover, it is universal and can be used by kids and beginners – basically anyone interested in walk lining. If you are a beginner looking for a quality baseline that takes the least amount of time to set up, Baseline is the right choice for you.

Slackline Industries Trick Line Trampoline Style Slackline Kit with Backup Line, Tree Protectors, Black - Zero Waste, 50-Feet Price: Slackline Industries Trick Line Trampoline Style Slackline Kit with Backup Line, Tree Protectors, Black - Zero Waste, 50-Feet Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

Best Waterline – Gibbon Slacklines Surfer

Gibbons Slacklines are the highest quality slacklines available in the market and are known to be the most-bought slacklines in the world. The Gibbons Slacklines Surfer, for water lining, is fairly easy to set up and has high durability. Their customer support is quite responsive and they also have a slackline app for your mobile. Though it is quite expensive, it will provide great value for money in the long run. If slacklining is more than just your passion, go ahead and make the investment! Surfers would especially love this slackline!

Gibbon Slacklines - Surfline, Purple, 98-Feet Price: $99.32 Gibbon Slacklines - Surfline, Purple, 98-Feet Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

Best Walkline – Slackling Industries

The Slacklines Baseline has a high amount of reviews and is extremely easy to set up, taking no more than 10 minutes. Moreover, it is universal and can be used by kids and beginners – basically anyone interested in walk lining. If you are a beginner looking for a quality baseline that takes the least amount of time to set up, Baseline is the right choice for you.

Slackline Industries Baseline Slackline, 50FT, Red SI00050 Price: $39.99 Slackline Industries Baseline Slackline, 50FT, Red SI00050 Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 12/11/2018

Best Longline – BC Primitive Slackline Kit

The BC Primitive slackline is a good beginner primitive rig slackline that comes at a reasonable price. While rigging will take more time, and may be more difficult the result is more versatility. If you want to run your line shorter or longer it’s easier. It is a more manual approach that works best for longlining. It is the most expensive of all the slacklines we mentioned, but one of the best primitive slackline setups on the market for the price.
Buy Now!

 

Summary

Now that you know all the basic types of slacklines available in the market, it will be easier for you to make your decision. If you are new to the field of slacklining, you should opt for the Baseline, as it caters to the needs of the beginners. However, if you’re tired of simply walking on the rope and are looking to perform some new tricks, the Trickline will be your best bet! So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and defy the laws of gravity!

Image sources: Featured image by Leio Mclaren – Unsplash.

Survival Filter vs LifeStraw

survival filter vs lifestraw

Once upon a time, there were very few options for fresh drinking water when adventuring in far-off lands. You’d have to make a fire, boil the water in a clean pot in hopes you rid it of all the nasty microbes, then hope for the best.  Everything has changed! That’s right, we’re talking about on-the-go water filters. When it comes to choosing the right water filtration for your outdoor adventures or for your doomsday preparation, there are plenty of options, but it really boils down to the Survival Filter vs LifeStraw.

LifeStraw

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, 3 Piece Price: $64.99 LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, 3 Piece Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

LifeStraw has been a leading charge in the water filtration movement and offers many different water bottle and drinking solutions for a variety of different needs while you are on the go.

When you begin to compare the benefits of the LifeStraw versus the Survivor Filter, their variety of water bottles is one of the largest benefits to choosing a LifeStraw solution. When it comes to microbial filtration, however, the Survivor Filter does advertise that is filters down to .05 microns when the Lifestraw is a mere .2 microns. In a seriously dirty water scenario this could mean something, however, they both filter out an incredible amount of microns.

As you can see the LifeStraw does a pretty incredible job even in the most, dare I say, disgusting scenarios. From dark murky dirty water to clear and delicious the LifeStraw is able to transform your water instantly.

If the instant straw isn’t your on-the-go desire, they also sell an amazing amount of different water bottles as well that have the same technology as their classic LifeStraw does. Personally, my favorite looking one would be the LifeStraw Go water bottle solution.

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw for Hiking, Backpacking, and Travel, Purple Price: $44.95 LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw for Hiking, Backpacking, and Travel, Purple Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

A single LifeStraw is very affordable Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. and makes it a tough item to not pick up in your just-in-case scenarios. If you’re looking for something a little more professional I would say look onward to the Survival Filter below.

Survival Filter

If fashion statements are what you’re going, look elsewhere. If clean water and reusable features are your focus than the Survivor Filter vs the Life Straw is your best bet.

Survivor Filter - Virus Tested 0.05 Micron Portable Water Filter Price: Survivor Filter - Virus Tested 0.05 Micron Portable Water Filter Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

With a threaded end to screw into any standard bottle of water, it makes this survivor filter straw extremely useful and forgoes the need to purchase a dedicated water bottle which saves you time and money!

Additionally, the Survivor Filter has three filters that can all be easily replaced so you won’t need to purchase a new straw once you have gone through its 264 (1000 liters) gallons of filtrations that it is rated for.

The only real downside of this straw, in my opinion, is the dark green color. When adventuring in wooded and natural landscapes I could see myself losing the Survivor filter straw pretty easily with its green color blending into its surroundings. This is where the LifeStraw outshines the Survivor Filter. With the blue color that the LifeStraw has, it stands out. Since fresh drinking water is kind of important for survival I’d say color can matter!

Survival Filter vs LifeStraw, Which One Should You Get?

While both of these filters are great and will help in times of crises, adventure, or just general outdoor activities it depends on if you are looking to utilize it on a more regular basis and if you are going to be in an area where the water may be especially “dirty”. If that is the case, I’d recommend going with the Survival Filter however the LifeStraw is an extremely affordable and useable option as well if you are looking for something to add to your go-bag.

Since both options are affordable and do a great job of filtering you’re hard press to go wrong choosing either. And if you’re like me and just drink water straight from Icelandic ice caves than either is better than none.

Tickets to Top of the Rock New York

Why should you get tickets to Top of the Rock in New York? There are several observation decks in New York, but here are my reasons why that beautiful skyline is best seen from Top of the Rock.

The Area

You’re in the heart of midtown New York! If you have time to kill before or after, take a stroll past Radio City Music Hall, the ice skating rink, Magnolia Bakery, or Saks to see their infamous holiday windows. There certainly isn’t a lack of things to do around this area where the charm is always present. If you’re really intrigued with what midtown has to offer beyond Top of the Rock (and the history behind it all), consider a New York Midtown Walking Tour that includes your Top of the Rock ticket; It will help you learn about that concrete jungle you’ll be viewing from above.

The View

From 70 stories above the city and only a glass panel between you and the horizon, you’re sure to get crystal clear pictures without those metal grates that the Empire State Building offers you. Speaking of, you’ll probably want to get the most iconic building in NYC in your photo (which means being on it may not be the best strategy). Skip the Empire State Building and take a gander at it from an angle you can appreciate.

Timed Entry

This one is a biggie. Pretty much the equivalent to a Fast Pass at Disney World. Your ticket to Top of the Rock has a time for entry, come back from exploring New York at that time and take the next elevator up. It’s that easy. No lines, which is somewhat unheard of for general ticketed attractions in New York. You’re also able to stay on the deck for as long as you like although the typical stay is around 45 minutes. This is built into our Midtown Walking Tour, with entry time lining up right when the tour ends. Let us take care of the timing!

Ticket Info

The going rate for a non sunset Top of the Rock ticket is $39.20 ($36 + tax). For sunset hours marked on their ticketing page, the total is $50.08 ($46 + tax). There is also an option to upgrade to “sun & stars” which allows you to visit once during the day and return after sunset. With this option, the ticket is roughly $59.


Pro tip:

Sunset hours are clearly and more expensive, but worth it! Our midtown tours that end during sunset hours include a normal ticket price to Top of the Rock, so travel with one of our evening groups for a deal on your sunset ticket and a tour of the area!

New York is full of options for similar experiences, but for a view of the skyline you’ll want to get the absolute best. Be sure to pack your camera and your walking shoes if you’ll be joining us on a tour. Top of the Rock and Midtown are not to be missed when you visit New York!

Heart & Soul of Greenwich Village Food Tour Review

Heart and Soul Food Tour Greenwich Village-10

If you’re looking for a food tour to explore some of Greenwich Village’s best eats, sit down and prepare to feast.

Living in the city these days means Caroline and I spend most of our time either working on our walking tours or eating at home to save money. We only treat ourselves to the delights of New York City eats every now and again. When the opportunity came up to take a food tour and explore the Big Apple through it’s Greenwich Village restaurants, we jumped at the chance.

Foods of NY Tours is an incredible local food tour business here in the city. They’ve been around since 1999, which means I was barely feeding myself when they began sharing the best food in New York City with the world. So they know a thing or two about food!

While they offer many different food tours around Manhattan and Brooklyn, we chose to join their Greenwich Village “Heart & Soul” tour because it’s one of their most popular experiences.

So What Was It Like?

Our day began with meeting our group at a classic Italian family-style restaurant in the heart of Greenwich Village’s bustling Macdougal St. Joanna, our guide greeted us and instantly made us all feel welcomed. She prepared us for what we were about to experience in the next three hours of our day.

PS… Joanna was a rock star guide who really made us feel like old friends!

Joanna Russell - Foods of NY

After introductions, we headed to our very first stop, Cafe Dante. In an effort to not ruin the allure and surprise of the stops for you, this will be one of the few restaurants I will name in the review. You will have to join them on a future tour if you want to know all the fun stops first-hand!

We kicked off the many tastings with my personal favorite on the tour: Cafe Dante’s Burrata cheese Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. with Sea Salt on honeycomb, cranberry, and pecan sourdough flatbread. If that doesn’t get your taste buds salivating then the photo below may.

Cafe Dante - New York City Greenwich Village

One slice of this stuff was not enough for me, but I quickly learned to pace myself as we had seven more tastings to go. The burrata cheese was so soft and flavorful that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back to traditional mozzarella ever again.

Once we finished with our first tasting, our guide Joanna took us around Greenwich Village. She shared not only the history about the food we were tasting, but also the surrounding areas such as Washington Square Park and the like.

From exploring the Village’s fast-casual Indian cuisine…

Masala Times Greenwich Village New York CityMasala Times Greenwich Village New York City

 

Exploring where to get the best coffee beans…

 

Porto Rico Importing Co. Tea and Coffee - New York CityPorto Rico Importing Co. Tea and Coffee - New York City

 

Finding a hidden gem to grab fresh spices, tea, and honey…

 

Sullivan Street Tea and Spice Company - New York City

 

To all kinds of desserts and cookies…

 

Oat Meals New York City CookieHeart and Soul Food Tour Greenwich Village-48

 

Every fifteen minutes we were trying or exploring something new. It made the tour so endlessly exciting!

And last but certainly not least, we need to mention the empanadas. Those sweet, sweet Empanadas.

 

Cuba Restaurant - Greenwich Village New York CityCuba Restaurant - Greenwich Village New York City

Caroline’s favorite and a close second fav for me were the empanadas from a place called Cuba.

There, we had a variety of traditional Cuban foods. The crust on the empanadas was perfectly crunchy and thick, while the fillings of spinach, cheese, and beef made for an almost out of body experience.

I wanted to eat more of these but at the tail end of the tour, my stomach was telling me that wouldn’t be wise.

Final thoughts

After sampling more than ten different foods, I left this food tour stuffed and extremely satisfied.

Being a New Yorker, I often find myself getting stuck in a routine and forget that there are hundreds, no thousands, of new restaurants and activities I have yet to explore. This food tour was no different. Now Caroline and I have a list of Greenwich Village spots that we must return to for full meals.

At a price of $54 per person, this food tour doesn’t disappoint!

In fact, I am stunned at how affordable it was for just how much food you get during the tour. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the price, so be sure to bring an extra $10-$20 if you’d like to enjoy some wine or mojitos along the journey.

If a good blend of food, local businesses, and history is what you’re looking for in a New York City tour, I’d recommend giving the Foods of NY Heart & Soul Greenwich Village tour a try!

Okay, time to go find that cheese again…

Full disclosure: Opinions are our own and we have not received compensations for this review. 

Winter New York Packing List

You’ve done it. You’ve booked your ticket to a winter wonderland, where the city never sleeps and pizza is always acceptable to eat. But how to create a New York Packing List for Winter? Your picturesque NYC Rom Com is just one packing item away from being totally disastrous (and cold).

Whether you’re not used to the frigid temperature or you have general packing anxiety, here’s a packing list that will keep your Frozen experience in a Broadway theater and not on the New York City streets.

New York Packing List Item 1: Comfy Walking Shoes

On average New Yorkers walk about 6 miles a day, and that’s without going on one of our NYC walking tour to make sure they don’t miss any of the essential city sights.

If you refuse to dress like a mom at Disney World (no shame in it!), leave your sneakers at home and start your winter New York packing list with some cute boots that will look good in all the photos. The secret is to make sure they give you arch support and a non-painful heel strike when you’re pounding the pavement.

My go-to boots are my Clarks Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.  – They’re cute with a dress/tights or jeans and I can wander for hours in them!

If you don’t want to buy new boots, consider an insole Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.  that reduces your risk for shin splints. One hour on the concrete in your flat riding boots, and you’ll be quite a bit slower for your second day here!

CLARKS Women's Nevella Bell Boot, Dark Taupe Suede, 9.5 M US Price: CLARKS Women's Nevella Bell Boot, Dark Taupe Suede, 9.5 M US Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

New York Packing List Item 2: Waterproof Shoes

Check the weather right before you head to the Big Apple. Even if there is a small chance of rain, DO NOT forget waterproof shoes! In New York, there is no escaping the rain (or snow) if you’re caught in transit. Trust me, there is nothing worse than knowing you have a day full of walking in front of you + wet shoes. A space hog, but an essential packing list item!

To save room in your suitcase, and a bit of effort when walking around, you’ll want to have ankle rain boots as opposed to full ones. Asgard boots Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.  are amazing, and you’ll fit right in with other New Yorkers wearing them! Don’t forget your umbrella Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.  either!

Outdew Compact Travel Umbrella Windproof - Unbreakable Double Canopy Construction With Teflon Coating Auto Open Close Button umbrellas Price: $21.95 Outdew Compact Travel Umbrella Windproof - Unbreakable Double Canopy Construction With Teflon Coating Auto Open Close Button umbrellas Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

New York Packing List Item 3: Oversized Scarf + Hat

I know that not everyone is a scarf and hat person.

But in New York, you will be out of necessity. These two items are crucial for keeping you nice and toasty to stay outside and get your NYC bucket list accomplished. Here’s my strategy:

Hat

Choose a hat that’s a neutral color and can go with multiple outfits in your go-to Winter packing list. This way you can wear the hat all day with any of your outfits (because, beanie hair is real). The right beanie will keep you warm even if you’re wearing a tee shirt in the snow. Ear coverage is a game changer. My favorite is Eddie Bauer.

Eddie Bauer Womens Fairview Beanie, Lt Khaki Regular ONESZE Price: $18.00 Eddie Bauer Womens Fairview Beanie, Lt Khaki Regular ONESZE Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

Scarf

Two words – Blanket. Scarf. Go crazy with the colors here. To spruce up your Winter New York packing list, I prefer a nice plaid with some fall tones mixed in. The bigger the better, you’ll be thanking me long after your trip to New York.

If you have a rough Saturday night, just throw on this puppy with a plain long sleeve (or literally anything), some big sunglasses, and a top knot – Boom. You look like a movie star with no hangover whatsoever.

Life Hack – they’re warm too. Who said you have to be cold to look cute in those outdoor Central Park pictures? 

Bess Bridal Women's Plaid Blanket Winter Scarf Warm Cozy Tartan Wrap Oversized Shawl Cape (One Size, Camel) Price: $9.88 Bess Bridal Women's Plaid Blanket Winter Scarf Warm Cozy Tartan Wrap Oversized Shawl Cape (One Size, Camel) Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

New York Packing List Item 4: A Mary Poppins Bag (with pocket on outside)

No, not a literal carpet bag (well maybe). You need a bag that you can tote whatever you need without being uncomfortable.

  • When the sun comes out and that blanket scarf may be a bit much, stuff it in the bag.
  • Carrying a water bottle Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. ? Stuff it in the bag.
  • Cliff bars so you don’t get hangry and start acting like Betty White pre-Snickers? (Also essential to your Winter New York Packing List) Stuff it in the bag.
  • Band-Aids Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. needed from ignoring my hint about comfy shoes? Stuff it in the bag.

 

Tip: Maybe bring a bag that has an easily accessible zipper pocket on the outside. You don’t have to go digging just to grab and swipe your subway metro card.

My suggestion is either a cross body bag or small backpack Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.  so you can swing those arms and keep pace with New Yorkers’ walking speed.

New vintage Women Real Genuine Leather Backpack Purse SchoolBag by Coolcy (Brown) Price: $69.98 New vintage Women Real Genuine Leather Backpack Purse SchoolBag by Coolcy (Brown) Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 10/22/2018

New York Packing List Item 5: A Winter coat that you won’t hate outdoor pictures in

It’s going to be cold, but you don’t want to look like this:

You can’t go wrong with a classic peacoat Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.  to pair with your hat and scarf. You’ll feel like a quintessential New Yorker in Winter. Get something that will dress up your park play-clothes, and only enhance your nicer dress for those Broadway shows.

Note: Be sure it’s actually warm, and you can fit a comfy sweater underneath. Things your mom always told you, but are actually useful!

BGSD Women's 'Elizabeth' Wool Blend Walking Coat Price: 109.99 BGSD Women's 'Elizabeth' Wool Blend Walking Coat Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 10/22/2018

Those are the bare essentials in our Winter New York Packing List. Now I won’t tell you what clothes to wear under all of these recommended items; That’s entirely up to you and the activities you’ve planned. My overall New York aesthetic tends to be functionally cute. You can never go wrong with leggings and an oversized sweater! Be sure to go on as many walking tours as you can, take a ton of pictures, and live in the moment. Check out some of our other guides (Read: How to navigate the NYC Subway) to see what to do when you get here!

Experience the Upper West Side - Life Nomading Walking Tour Price: $29 / per person Experience the Upper West Side - Life Nomading Walking Tour Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 01/17/2019

The Best 5 Desserts on the Upper West Side, New York

best desserts on upper west side

Whether you’ve accidentally wandered too far north in Central Park, or live in the city and are just looking for new places to satisfy your sweet tooth, the Upper West Side (UWS) is a land of cute bakeries, shops, and adventures.

There are plenty of incredible options to get your sugar fix on the UWS, but we visited our top five favorite dessert locations even though we’ve been multiple times (just to be sure, you know?). Here were our thoughts on places you must visit:

Magnolia Bakery

magnolia bakery frosting cupcakes

Located at 69th and Columbus, this is only one of Magnolia’s locations (their original location is in West Village).

But don’t worry, it still holds it’s yummy quality and quaintness! Per their standard, you can always see their buttercream being made behind the counter and you are greeted by lovely, friendly bakers!

magnolia bakery banana bread pudding

Although their cupcakes have been featured on Sex and the City and other TV Shows/movies, their most popular dessert is the banana pudding. Amidst a whole bakery full of the most beautiful cakes, cookies, and cheesecakes, we had to take the recommendation of the public and went with the classic banana pudding.

Let’s just say there is a reason it’s the most popular.

If you’re looking for a dessert that still feels somewhat light, but has a complete richness equal to your grandmother’s pudding (and grandma was a top-notch baker), this is your dessert. And it’s banana based, how bad can it be for you?

 

Levain Bakery

Levain. Le sigh. I have dreams about these cookies at night.

best desserts on upper west sideWeighing in at 6 ounces each, Levain’s perfectly gooey cookies are a dessert that will be in your memory forever. To give a little context, the two owners of Levain Bakery perfected their recipe while training for a triathlon, so be sure to exercise a whole lot after eating one (OR just don’t google how many calories are in one). Chocolate Chip Walnut is classic, but you cannot go wrong with any of the cookie flavors.

Spoiler alert: We make a stop here on our Upper West Side Walking Tours Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Buy a few, send some to your friends (they ship), shout it from the rooftops – they’re amazing!

Located at W 74th and Amsterdam, it would be easy for you to overlook the tiny basement bakery if it weren’t for the line stretching down the block. Well worth the wait though, and if you deem that it’s not, there’s a second storefront right around the corner. You’re welcome.

 

Cafe Lalo

If you visit with a crimson rose and copy of Pride & Prejudice, you may just find love with other fans of You’ve Got Mail Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. .

Aside from being famous for the scene where Kathleen Kelly tells Joe Fox he’s similar to the generation of cocktail waitresses with only first names, their desserts are as high quality as this movie.

Located at W 83rd and Amsterdam, their twinkle lights, large french windows, and adorable cafe atmosphere will entice you to sit and stay a while. Grab a slice of their cheesecake (or anything from their full cabinet of goodies), and you won’t be disappointed. They do a full brunch, have a full bar with boozy milkshakes, and even live jazz on certain evenings.

Sit. Snack. Sip. This is what every cafe experience should be.

 

Milk Bar (UWS)

This place is every little kid’s sugar heaven. If you visit, make sure you watch the Chef’s table episode on Christina Tosi (and have some crack pie nearby in case of a dessert craving emergency).

We popped into the W 87th and Columbus location of Milk Bar for the necessary cereal milk ice cream (add the crunchy toppings, worth it). Seriously, I could eat endless amounts of this stuff. The flavor keeps every bite interesting and you don’t feel sick after eating too much – dangerous.

This location is close to Central Park West, so if you’re visiting the park and want some quality ice cream on a hot day, do yourself a favor, and walk a little further than the normal ice cream stands.

(Also try everything on the menu, because it’s a dream)

 

Silver Moon Bakery

This is not your run of the mill bakery. They are a small space with a lot of passion poured into their goodies. Their chocolate ganache cake will melt in your mouth, the loaves of bread are fresh, and the less likely goddess of their menu is the hot chocolate.

Located at W 105th and Broadway, you’ll be able to smell the loaves of bread at least three blocks away. If you’re grabbing something on the go before you start your walk in Riverside Park on a fall day, this will satisfy your sweet tooth and warm your belly. Pair with a cinnamon roll and heaven isn’t too far away.

If you’ve read this far, you can imagine how much pain we were in at this point. The things we do for you, active readers…

We know this isn’t every amazing dessert spot on the UWS, but we chose according to our palettes. Feel free to comment with your favorite! Happy sugar binging, and keep up that NYC walking speed to burn off the extra calories!

Experience the Upper West Side - Life Nomading Walking Tour Price: $29 / per person Experience the Upper West Side - Life Nomading Walking Tour Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 01/17/2019

The Shitty Side of Traveling

how_to_poop_while_traveling

You see all these travel bloggers; Their beautiful adventures, perfectly angled, perfectly colored. They’re thin, beautiful, digging into some large exotic street food, enjoying a large brunch spread full of cheese, pastries, and lattes. WOWZA, you want that.

But I want to talk about what really happens on these trips, post-brunch. If you’ve been anywhere, even on vacation, you know what I’m talking about. Shitting… or lack thereof. How are there so many travel blogs out there without even the mention of it? Because for me, the inconsistency of pooping is the only consistent thing while traveling.

where to poop while travelingI embarked on my first long-term travel adventure last month, knowing full and well that even domestic travel put my sensitive digestive system at risk for constipation. Throw in a little jetlag and a whole world of new foods and I was set for complete catastrophe no matter how much water (or coffee) I drank.

drinking beer at ruin bars in budapestWhen you’re sightseeing, hiking, beaching, enjoying a beer in an authentic pub, or in no man’s land looking at the glories of the world, you don’t want to be thinking about the last time you spent a solid amount of time in the bathroom (or the last time it was solid). Wondering “how long can I go without shitting before I die” isn’t exactly what I want running through my head when I’m trying to look cute in travel pics. But it’s somewhat unavoidable, so let’s chat about it, shall we?

First of all, this is a completely natural occurrence.

In fact, it’s an evolutionary trait dating back to our hunter/gatherer days. When you’re a real nomad (not the cute, insta-famous ones), hunting for animals, you probably don’t want a predator tracking your scent during your journey. So as soon as your body recognizes that you’re in a new location, it shuts down all colon activity.

Cool, right?

Yeah, not so much when the bloating sets in after that lovely brunch spread.

Traveling is also stressful, and your tummy knows it.

Did you know that you have 100 million neurons in your gut? That’s more than in your spinal cord. So if you’re in a gross bathroom, stressed about missing your connecting flight, or overly exhausted from being in airports for 36 hours straight, your second brain in the gut is going to just say no.

Obviously, there are ways that you can keep on your merry loo schedule while you’re exploring.

A few tips (and reasons I failed – lesson learned):

Pre-Trip Prep

A few days before the trip, I normally start packing my diet with fiber. Kale salads for dinner, spinach smoothies for breakfast. Being on a super consistent schedule leading up to your trip gives your body routine, which will be easier to follow.

I failed at this. Packing up your apartment, quitting your job, and leaving for two months led me to some serious stress eating. Constipation – 1, Caroline – 0

 

Water, Water, Water

As soon as you head to the airport, drink a bottle. Through security? Drink a bottle. Just chug them as often as possible.

8-hour flight? Doomsday. They offer free wine on the plane, and I just couldn’t resist. Then I landed in Europe where water fountains are not a thing, and who wants to spend money on water bottles? Constipation – 2, Caroline – 0

 

Keep it Moving

Exercise. And this is where it gets tricky. Unless you’re able to maintain the same type of exercise as you’re used to, your body has to adjust. Yes, you may be walking 10+ miles a day when you’re exploring, but if you’re adapted to doing yoga every day, that’s a very different type of movement.

No, I’m not going to do yoga every day after wakeboarding and walking a marathon. Sorry. Constipation – 3, Caroline – 0

 

Diet

Fruits and veggies! And preferably fruits that have not been cooked into a jam, resting in the middle of strudel.

breakfast in bulgaria

avoid eating the whole plate of pastries

Ha. Ha. Ha. You think I’m not going to try every pastry on this side of the world? In my defense, the salad culture that I’m accustomed to isn’t quite as popular outside of NY. Sure, we’ll go with that. Constipation – 4, Caroline – 0

Fast forward to our second stop on the trip and I’m getting desperate. Panic poop mode, if you will. After chugging about 6 bottles of water, I start pulling out all the stops for things that are my go-to’s:

  1. Coffee: Ended up dehydrating me even more. Next.
  2. Soft Serve Ice Cream: Flickering memories of my childhood, but still nothing.
  3. Activia: If it works for Jamie Lee Curtis, why not me?
  4. Kale: Okay, you know it’s bad when Kale doesn’t work.

And right when I was about to order some Haribo Sugar Free Gummy Bears, I realized that I was past the point of no return and it was time to fold. My boyfriend and I started a 3-hour long venture to buy laxatives. Let me tell you, you know it’s love when a man asks the convenient store worker for laxatives in Hungarian after using google translate on every box in the store.

Travel Tip: Most laxatives can only be purchased in proper pharmacies, not your average Walgreens. But have no fear, either buy them and pack ahead of time or purchase there, you won’t need a prescription!

So here are my recommendations (to pack & and to buy in emergencies):

Metamucil (To pack)

A gift from the heavens! For those with potential to reach a desperate situation, but able to catch it early enough. The equivalent of 5 kale smoothies ready to hit your digestive system in the form of fiber pixie dust.

Pro Tip: Since it’s orange flavored, mix it with some Emergen-C to get the total travel package.

Metamucil Multi-Health Psyllium Fiber Supplement Sugar-Free Powder, Orange Flavored, 180 Servings Price: $25.44 Metamucil Multi-Health Psyllium Fiber Supplement Sugar-Free Powder, Orange Flavored, 180 Servings Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

Colace (To pack)

This baby is technically a “stool-softener” but the sound of that title sends shivers to the insides of my colon. Let’s just say it loosens things up in a nice way without completely dehydrating you into a prune.

Pro-Pro Tip: Colace + Metamucil + Emergen-C Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. . You. Will. Be. Invincible. Go climb Mt Everest.

Colace Regular Strength Stool Softener, 100 mg Capsules, 60 Count, Docusate Sodium Stool Softener for Gentle, Dependable Relief Price: $15.97 Colace Regular Strength Stool Softener, 100 mg Capsules, 60 Count, Docusate Sodium Stool Softener for Gentle, Dependable Relief Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

Suppositories, Fleet or Equate (To buy or pack)

In short, these are not fun to talk about since they go in the opposite direction of how you want most bodily items to flow. But they work. I’ll let you decide how you feel about them. They aren’t for everyone.

Pro Tip:  I say that you can pack these, but I could easily see them not being the best to travel with. Google it. Proceed at your own risk.

Dulcolax (To buy, available in lots of countries)

For those of you with the desperation level of wishing a solid dose of food poisoning on yourself. The normal version says to take it before you go to bed and things will start rattling about 6-12 hours after you take it. Convenient. Have your morning coffee and take a seat, my friend. This puppy works.

Pro Tip: Drink SO SO SO much water after. Lax attacks pull all the water in your body to aid the process and leave you feeling like a raisin. So if you get a headache a few hours later, just chug.

Dulcolax Laxative Tablets, 100 Count, Gentle, Reliable Overnight Relief from Constipation, Hard, Dry, Painful Stools, and Irregular Bowel Movements, Stimulates Bowel to Encourage Movement Price: $14.40 Dulcolax Laxative Tablets, 100 Count, Gentle, Reliable Overnight Relief from Constipation, Hard, Dry, Painful Stools, and Irregular Bowel Movements, Stimulates Bowel to Encourage Movement Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 02/19/2019

To Sum It Up

That’s the shitty side of traveling. The moral of the story is that it’s bound to happen, so let’s not pretend that it doesn’t (even to those pretty little #wanderlustgirls). Here’s to many more trips where laxatives aren’t the necessary option for you, but if so, pack in preparation and cheers to flushing!