Lifestyle

What You Need To Know for Flight Travel with Dogs

Posted on: August 7, 2017

Traveling tends to be a stressful process and adding a furry friend makes it a little more complicated. But never fear! I have all the insider tips for you whether it’s domestic or an international flight! I have included some of my favorite travel accessories as well! You may be sent to the product listed through an affiliate link! I only link the items I love!

You can find more information regarding documentation for international travel in this post here.

Dogs can travel on commercial flights in one of 4 ways:

IN CABIN: Dogs can travel with an adult in an airline approved carrier stowed under the seat in front of you. Different airlines have different weight restrictions so call ahead previous to booking.

We have been using this pet carrier for all our travel in cabin and I love it! The mesh paneling offers breathability, yet I have the option to cover the mesh for less outside distraction to the pups. Most passengers have no idea I’m traveling with pets when I use this bag!

I also love this black carrier as well as this one that’s a bit more stylish. This one has wheels which is life changing!

CHECKED BAGGAGE (CARGO): Dogs traveling with a passenger that are not permitted in the cabin can be transported as checked baggage in the cargo hold.

Your pet must travel in an IATA compliant pet crate and meet certain other requirements depending on the airline. It is considered best to have only one animal per container, but the IATA rules state that two animals can share the same container if the animals are under 14kg (30lbs) and are of the same species and compatible. It is up to the airline to set their own rules and most of them do.

I would recommend these pet crates made by PetMate since they meet all the airline requirements! You can find more information about crate specifics here!

MANIFEST CARGO: Unaccompanied or very large pets will travel as manifest cargo in the hold.

SERVICE/COMFORT ANIMALS: Service and Emotional Animals can travel in the cabin with a disabled passenger on many airlines.

Traveling with a service/comfort animal requires specific documentation. Please call your flight carrier while booking to confirm details regarding service animals on board.

**check with your airline for complete policies. Some airlines don’t allow in cabin pet travel or cargo.

Helpful Airport Tips:

BUDGET FOR EXTRA FEES: Flying with dogs will cost you a bit extra! Prices can range from $50-$500 if you are flying as cargo and average $125 in cabin.

PET COMFORT: If your dog is traveling as cargo, place an old t-shirt or sweater in the kennel. It will smell like you and provide some comfort! Some airlines also require water and food in the kennel when they are traveling as cargo.

PET RELIEF AREAS: Some airports have indoor/outdoor pet relief areas in the terminals. You can find what airports provide this service with an easy google search! If the airport doesn’t contain a relief area, find a private restroom and put down a puppy pad!

SECURITY SCREENING: Pet will have to be taken out of carrier and a carried through metal detector. Put the pet carrier bag in the scanner first so you can easily place the dog back in the bag and collect your other things. Your hands will likely be swiped by TSA as added security.

KEEP YOUR PUP ON A LEASH: This is a common courtesy to other travelers, especially those with pets! I usually leave mine in the bag to avoid added stress.

My Favorite Pet Travel Accessories:

 

poop bags. leash. food carrier. collar. rope toys. pet carrier bag. artificial turf.  travel-tainer. collapsable water bowls.   

xoxo

How I Stay Fit While Traveling

Posted on: July 31, 2017

Fitness usually isn’t something I like to chat about since I am NOT a certified trainer or medical professional, but I get a lot of questions about staying fit while traveling so lets chat about it!

Fitness is something I have always valued due to be a dancer as well as from an active family! Sweating has been apart of my routine for a LONG time and traveling tends to throw a wrench in that! So how do you maintain your habits while traveling?

I am a big believer in BALANCE and I do not think that working out should overtake your travel adventures! Enjoy the local food, culture, and attractions ,but I’ve got a few great ideas on ways to enjoy your new city while getting sweaty!

Online Workouts

If you have got a wifi connection and a little space your good to go! If you don’t have space in your hotel room or wherever you are staying, find a local park! A great way to enjoy a little green space and get sweaty!

Here are my favorites:

Ballet Blast: Ballet barre inspired workout recorded live 3 times a week! You are part of an online community through Facebook and it costs less than a $1 a day! Requires minimal equipment and can be done anywhere in the world! Killer burn for the muscles you didn’t know you had!

The Yoga Collective: Online subscription based platform which provides its online family (members) with High Quality, HD yoga classes taught by some of Los Angeles’s top teachers. The coolest thing is they donate 50% of the profits to Charity!

Beach Body Guide by Kayla Itsines: 12 week program designed to target fat loss and muscle gain. 28 min HIIT workouts that can either be downloaded by PDF or accessed through the Sweat with Kayla app. I prefer the downloaded pdf’s since the app costs $19.99 a month and the ebook download is a one time fee of about $55. I take those with me everywhere! They are easy to pack in my bag and I can do them anywhere with a little creativity for equipment.

Local Studio Deals

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When we are city or country hoping, I jump online and find the nearest workout studios! Whether it’s yoga, cycling, boxing, or pilates! Normally, studios will offer a “first class free” or even a discounted intro week!

Hop from new studio to studio and you’ll have a full week of free classes just like that! You may even discover your new favorite workout and meet some locals!

If you are settling in a new city long term, buy your workout classes in bulk. Most studios offer deals for bulk purchases or a longer term memberships.

Some large retailers like Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, or lululemon usually have organized run clubs or free in store workouts!

Join a worldwide gym. There are many gym organizations that are actually worldwide! For example, I can visit any Anytime Fitness around the world for the cost of my monthly membership. This makes it really easy when I visit home and have the comfort of a gym I am used to!

Get Out and Explore

I can guarantee that everywhere you travel there is a park, hiking trails, or even organized walking tours. Get out and explore (without a car) and you’ll burn calories without even knowing it! I walked a total of 10 miles just exploring London in a day and didn’t even realize it! Of course my feet were tired but I got to see a new city and a workout.

Download walking tours and spend a few of your travel days out an about. Learn the history of the architecture, taste local food, and enjoy culture.

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The best piece of advice I can give you is to first ENJOY your trip and then secondly worry about staying fit. Staying fit while traveling can be an easy task, but not one that should overshadow your adventures! Incorporate it into your daily schedule and you won’t miss a sweat!

Happy sweating my friends!

xoxo

International Travel with Dogs [Part One]

Posted on: July 19, 2017

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Our fur babies are like family and it never crossed our minds that we would leave them behind. So when we decided to uproot our lives to Spain, we knew we had to start the documentation process of traveling with pets. It can be a daunting process but we’ve done our research and are here to help!

In our experience, Europe has been really dog friendly! I see more people with dogs in Barcelona wandering the streets than I ever did living stateside. London felt the same way too! Most cafes have outdoor seating for guests with dogs, and I’ve seen quite a few pups out shopping with their owners. Research is your best friend. Spend a few minutes researching your destination and it’s dog friendly-ness!

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First things first,

Contact your Embassy or the Embassy of the country you will be traveling to. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT step. It is crucial you look into all the documentation ASAP.

Requirements for most countries (not all):

  • ISO microchip (if it isn’t ISO you can purchase a scanner to bring with you to scan the chip)
  • Recent rabies vaccination  (most countries require annual shots but will usually honor the 3 year booster)
  • Blood titer test in some cases
  • Tick and tapeworm treatments administered a certain number of hours prior to entry
  • Health certificates administered by your veterinarian no more than 10 days prior to entry
  • Government Export Paperwork from the country of origin (Department of Agriculture or USDA equivalent)

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Other helpful information…

RABIES: 

The countries of the world have been divided into three classifications that relate to rabies: rabies-free countries, rabies-controlled countries and high-rabies countries. Before your pet travels internationally, it is important that you know the rabies classification of your pet’s originating country as well as the rabies classification of its destination country.  You need to be aware of quarantine requirements of countries in which you must clear customs.

You can find that information by contacting or researching the embassy of the country you are traveling to.

If your pet is entering the country of destination from a rabies-free or rabies-controlled country, it will need proof of a current rabies vaccination that was administered after the microchip was implanted.

If this is your pet’s first vaccination after microchipping, it will need to wait for 21 days before traveling. There is no waiting period after boosters as long as:

  • the previous vaccination was administered after a microchip was implanted AND
  • the previous vaccination had not expired when the booster was given.

You can find a list of rabies-free (here) and rabies-controlled countries (here).

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Pet Passport:

Another option you can look into is a Pet Passport. If it is available from your vet, DO IT! So helpful and contains all the documentation/information in one place. This will make travel through the airports and borders a lot easier and faster!

Stay posted for Part 2! My favorite tips and tricks for taking long flights and finding pet friendly accommodations! Pets are such a huge part of our lives an I can’t imagine traveling without em!

xoxo

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10 Reasons To Live Abroad at least Once

Posted on: June 26, 2017

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Whether you have the travel bug, need for adventure, or want a cheaper cost of living, there are many reasons to live abroad. Sadly, many don’t take the leap afraid of the technicalities of moving to a new country. But, if you approach the move with an open mind, you’re in for a life of adventures and memories.

As a wife of an MBA student, we took the leap and I am here to tell you that living abroad is one of the most amazing/rewarding things I have ever decided to do. I’ve gathered my top 10 reasons and even if it is just for a few months, take the leap!

Culture Shock

There is no better way to open your eyes to how the world works, than to live in another culture. You will quickly learn that it is OK to be different and that EVERYWHERE functions differently.

When we first moved to Spain, I was surprised at the pace of life. Everything moved a bit slower and the locals knew how to enjoy their lives. As an American, I have been hustling since I can remember and I marveled at the those who could sit at lunch for two hours sipping wine with a colleague.

I shop for fruits and veggies from a local farmer, purchase my meat from the butcher, and fresh bread from the Panaderia. No target or bulk food stores in sight and the entire community spends Saturday out and about walking from this shop to that.

Europeans value experience and therefore everything is done in detail. From gorgeous parks, to monuments, to colorfully painting buildings, it creates a full experience.

Personal Development

Holly cow this should probably be number one. When you are placed in a new, uncomfortable environment, it forces you to adapt to your surroundings. You will face challenges on a daily basis in a new city, and most likely in a new language. I’ve had my share of tearful moments, but deep down that strength grows with every challenge.

Before moving I thought I was an independent person, but I quickly learned that I depended on the habits and ease of my familiar surroundings. As scary as it is to deal with government authorities, landlords, or even the doorman you learn to “just do it”. Nike style. It has to be done, and no one can do it for you, so you conquer little fears everyday!

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World Wide Community

You are now suddenly open to meeting so many people with like interests from all over the world. Whether that’s in a yoga class, a new job, or shopping at the market your community is far wider spread than before.

Friends will become family and community will be more important than things. Life long bonds will be formed as you need these people to navigate living abroad.

I’ve developed close friends while living in Spain and only one of them is a fellow American! My husband, (the student), has an even bigger network attending class with people from over 60 different countries.

Religion, political, and cultural discussions open your eyes to other issues in the world, and your perspective will shift for the better.

Resume Builder

If your in business moving/working abroad will look killer on a CV and open up international opportunities. I am not business woman but networking is just as important in my work and meeting people from all over the world could open all kinds of doors.

Even if you don’t plan to work abroad, the fact you speak a second language or have experience in a particular city could give you the upper hand in an interview.

Expand Your Vocabulary

Learn a second language! Most of the world studies at least 3 languages while in school and as an American, I feel silly only speaking english.

Yes, learning a new language is SO challenging but totally rewarding when you can carry on a conversation with the local barista. It’s essential if you plan to stay long term in your new city. Most government processes are in the local language and often times they don’t speak english.

I’ve gained a larger respect for those who are bi-lingual and I’ve learned to humble myself while stumbling through Spanish at the store. It will get easier day by day and a little by little.

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 Cheaper Travel

Trains, buses, and cheaper flights make seeing new destinations easy and more frequent. Imagine yourself eating pasta in Italy and the next weekend touring sights in France. Overnight trains or even a rental car take you from country to country in just a few hours.

This has to be one of my favorite reasons to live abroad. I’ve always loved travel and we have seen and experienced so many new places all thanks to living in Europe.

Your Taste Will Change

Discovering new foods, fashion, and lifestyle differences will change you. I can only speak for Spain in this respect but the food is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Produce is only sold during its fresh season, bread is baked daily, and food goes bad quickly because it isn’t shot full of chemicals. Restaurants take pride in their food and markets are the hub of the city.

Fashion is different and what you know to be in style at home will not be the case in your new city. It’s a chance to re-define yourself. A clean slate you could say. Your lifestyle will shift in what you find important daily from your morning routine, hair-do, and commute to work, it will all begin to feel like normal.

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Re-Define Yourself

I think the reasons listed above all apply here but it’s really is a chance to make and entire new life. You have a unique opportunity to start over and decide how you want to live abroad. New job, new life, new you. Essentially your walking into a new environment without expectations from any one else so make some big life changes. Dye your hair purple or start working for yourself. Options are endless and that’s what is so exciting about making a huge move abroad.

Learn to be Alone

This one sounds a bit negative but this is one of the MOST valuable lessons to learn in life. The first while will feel isolating and lonely but you learn to rely on what you know and you feel like a super hero accomplishing anything. Wandering the streets, museum hopping, or showing up to a cultural event alone will benefit your self development. You will be your own biggest cheerleader and traveling solo may become your preferred way of exploring.

New Experiences Daily

I wish I had kept a daily journal during the first few weeks living abroad. Each day presented itself with new experiences.

Driving around the city on a Moto instead of a car, shopping for groceries in four different local shops, and stumbling upon Churches hundreds of years old. These things DON’T happen in the United States and every day I found myself stopping and marveling at the city before me.

History around every corner and a chance to learn and be inspired presents itself often. As a creative person, moving abroad has pushed my limits and opened me up for so many new things.

It isn’t always a walk in the park. There have been really hard times. But I would say that the really great times out weigh the bad.

So what are you waiting for? Come join me abroad!

xoxo

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Learning How To Be Awesome [Inspo Link Up]

Posted on: June 1, 2017

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Happy Thursday online friends! I truly hope this finds you well and that are as stoked as I am for FRIDAY! It’s just something about the weekend that makes me swoon. If you want to jump to the straight to the goodies, head to the bottom of the post for the link ups!

I recently shared on my instagram that I started listening to a podcast called Awesome With Alison  and she is somebody I really look up to in the online world. We’ve never met but I really like her style, sexy dance moves, and killer confidence. Did I mention she runs her own business, throws epic parties, and is a mom too?! I’m sending her a virtual high five as I type this because she is kick a$! (gotta keep it G on the blog).

So why am I blogging about this cool chick today?

Two reasons. Reason number one is that I really want to learn how to be awesome. Sounds easy right? But how easy is it when you really stop to think about it? Do we speak to ourselves as kindly as we would our best friends? Or are we constantly self critical, judgemental, and all around self confidence killers? Is that helping us become more awesome? I don’t think so….

But I AM CULPRIT NUMBER ONE! Just today I stood in front of a mirror and tore my body apart. #guilty.  So where does that leave us? Well it leaves us with a choice. Continue on that destructive path or pick a new one.  Maybe this new path will surprise you. Kind of like your very own yellow brick road leading you to awesomeness. I’m on the search for a new brain, one that speaks kindly of me, some courage to find myself, and a bigger heart to love all. Wanna join me?

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That leads me to reason number two why I am blogging about Alison. I wanna make change like she is. I wanna be a positive force to be reckoned with on the internet.

I LOVE following her because she is REAL and aware of her imprint on the world. This recent need of mine stems from the desire to live in integrity with my self ALWAYS. One of my favorite quotes ( I wish I knew who it was by) says it best:

 I like messy people; people who don’t fit in a box or stay between the lines, but who’s integrity is greater than any rule book and who’s loyalty is stronger than blood”.

I wanna be that person. I wanna be messy, and creative, and true. So now what? …Well…

I just wrote it down for the entire internet to see so best I get to work then I think. You can all keep me accountable and jump on board if you’re ready for some soul searching. I’ve linked up some pretty awesome tools that I’ll be using to achieve this new “me” below!

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PODCASTS:

AWESOME WITH ALISON

HAPPIER WITH GRETCHEN RUBIN

MAGIC LESSON WITH ELIZABETH GILBERT (a few episodes are marked explicit so keep that in mind)

BOOKS:

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (can you tell i’m in love with her?)

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Rising Strong by Brene Brown 

OTHER INSPIRING LINKS:

HeadSpace (favorite guided meditation app)

SuperSoul Sessions  (Inspiring talks hosted by Oprah)

How I lost my Identity but Found my Worth (TEDxUSU by Jeannie Woller)

I hope this helps you feel a little bit better about yourself today! Don’t forget to Shine On and let the world see who you really are without all the filters and carefully curated lives. Can we encourage each other to shine a bit brighter always?

xoxo

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My Favorite Summer Skin Care Products

Posted on: May 22, 2017

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Summer makes me think of BBQ’s, watermelon, swimsuits, and lots of sun! We all love the sun right?! I mean who doesn’t love a little glow and some Vitamin D?! Carson and I have found a new love for the beach and typically try to sit sea side every weekend! I like to call it freckle season and I wish they would stay year long. I’m not sure if it was the move abroad, or just growing older but my skin has become SO SENSITIVE! I can’t even use Dove anymore and i’ve switched to more natural products. Now this post is NOT SPONSORED so I am not trying to sell you anything, just spread the goodness of all natural products!

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5 Amazing Places to Eat in Amsterdam

Posted on: May 10, 2017

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We all love to eat right? If your answer to that question is “no” then you are probably lying because lets get real. #foodislife.  Whenever we are visiting a new city we make it our mission to find the best tasting food the city has to offer! With a little help from friends and family here are the 5 best places to eat in Amsterdam!

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How to See the Tulips in Holland

Posted on: May 3, 2017

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Street Art in Valencia Spain [ and other travel tips ]

Posted on: May 1, 2017

 

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Once you wander off the beaten path you’ll discover the famous Street Art of Valencia. Valencia’s “El Carmen” neighborhood is home to bohemian bars, adorable restaurants, boutiques, and the Institute of Art. It’s the perfect canvas for street artists with the plethora of concrete walls and old buildings. We wandered for an entire evening up and down the countless streets of art. On every corner we stumbled on something beautiful!

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A Day In Girona

Posted on: April 17, 2017

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We rented a car and headed up north to Girona for a day while my girl Katia was visiting! It was about time we explored a little bit more of Spain and I highly recommend a quick day trip if you are visiting Barcelona. The drive was about an hour and its gorgeous!

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