Peachy Travels, Part One: Packing to Perfection

I don’t know what it is about the summer time, but something about this season sparks the travel bug in most people. However, traveling can happen all year around, whether you are jetting off for work, escaping the cold winters to a hot destination, or taking that road trip that was inspired by your favourite childhood novel. Whatever the reason may be, travel is a constant activity in our lives. This is why I have decided to do a series of travel-focused posts, starting with this one – how to pack well and proper for your upcoming trip!

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1) Make a packing list, base it on the trip you are taking AND plan out your outfits. Think about the type of trip you are taking, the length of the trip, and what you will require for each day of the trip. For example, if you are going on a Caribbean vacation for a week, you may want to pack an outfit with each evening, plus at least 4 bathing suits so you have a dry one to put on each day. Always take extra undergarments, pack two extra outfits in case of any dirty spills or change in weather, and multi-purpose your shoes so your suitcase is easier to pack and carry. And if you need to, take your outfit planning to the next level by trying things on in advance and pairing things up.

2) Multi-purpose your packed wardrobe. Take some articles of clothing that you can wear on more than one occasion. For example, a black or white cardigan is perfect for day and night time to keep you warm and the shades are neutral and match with any outfit. Pack jeans or pants that you can do a repeat wear with – you can always freshen up an outfit with a new shirt.

3) Roll, fold, and protect accordingly. When you pack, not only do you want to maximize space BUT you want to pack your clothes that prevents them from getting wrinkled or damaged. For softer items of clothing, roll them up. For stiffer items, fold them and put them at the bottom of the suitcase to keep them as flat as possible. For delicate items (such as a cocktail dress or a men’s suit), package them up in a garment bag, then fold over once and pack carefully in the suitcase, preferably in the middle on top of the stiffer items.

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4) Do the double stuffing for the shoes. To keep your shoes in their best form as you travel, stuff the toes of your shoes, minus your runners. This is key for all dress shoes, as it maintains the shape. After you stuff the shoes, put them into plastic bags so any dust or dirt from the bottom of the shoes is kept away from your clothes and other items. Once you complete those two steps, stuff the shoes in your suitcase where there is appropriate space.

5) Go with toiletries that are travel-sized and travel-safe. When traveling, always opt to travel-sized items as they are easy to pack. In addition to the size, make sure your toiletries are packed for safe travels. This means the following: tape closed all bottles and tubes, then put them into sealed plastic bags for further protection. As much as this may be time-consuming, it is better than having a shampoo explosion in your suitcase. 

6) Keeping it fresh. A simple way to keep your clothes and the inside of your suitcase fresh and smelling amazing, put a couple of laundry sheets or a drawer or closet air freshener inside the suitcase. It makes a huge difference.

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Got any other great packing tips? Please share below in the comments section!

What I learned on my winter vacation: How to enjoy it and use it to your advantage

Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope each and every one of you have had a joyous time and that you have allowed yourselves to relax, enjoy and have some quiet time. Two days ago, I returned home from a week away on a Caribbean cruise. It had been a couple of years since I skipped town to head for hotter weather during the winter break, so the cruise was a nice trip.

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As someone who lives and breathes her career as she works around the clock with her business partner to build up their company, taking a vacation is a luxury for me – not only financially, but finding the appropriate time to get away and escape my regular responsibilities for a week or two. During this last trip, I promised myself (and my fiancée and my parents) that I would try to disconnect as much as possible. Believe me, it was a tough thing to do, but after a week away, here are some things I learned while cruising the Caribbean (both how to enjoy it and use it to my advantage upon returning home):

 1) Disconnect yourself from work OR come up with a way to keep yourself in vacation mode with a little bit of work mode thrown in:  What I mean by this is IF you are able to and comfortable to, put on your out-of-office reply securely, hop on that plane and stay away from your work emails and just let yourself disconnect. However, if you are like me and need peace of mind about work while away, set a time ONCE a day to check your work emails. I did this on my trip and it actually helped me to relax more.

2) Take some alone time on your trip to reflect:  Vacations away are a great time to reflect on yourself and your life. Take that walk alone or sit out and enjoy a beautiful view and just think. During my cruise, I would walk alone on the upper deck, taking in the views of the ocean and think about my current state and what I wish to accomplish in the New Year. I even made a list of goals. Sure, you may not achieve everything in the next 12 months, but making a list and setting up some new heights to reach is a good thing.

3) Experience something new:  Whether you are visiting a new place or returning on a trip to the familiar, push yourself to try or experience something new. For me, this cruise was a new experience. I had never been on a cruise before, mainly to my loyalty to all-inclusive resorts. However, I loved it and enjoyed visiting four breathtaking islands that I have never been to before. I also went on a fun cable car ride up a mountain in St. Thomas – a new experience that I will never forget. Love the new life moments! They are certainly refreshing.

4) Allow yourself to relax:  This can be tough for a lot of us! Many of us work and live in a fast-paced environment, so it is difficult when you finally have a chance to sit back, put your feet up, and chill. Select a vacation destination that will personally help you relax (my favourite is any place that has hot weather and a beautiful beach, as you can tell) and pick a time of year where it is quieter at work, if that helps. If you are going with a staycation, plan your free time with activities that allow you to relax and enjoy. For example, book yourself in for a spa day and then enjoy a delicious night at a favourite restaurant with loved ones.

5) SLEEP!:  Even if you are going on a touring-heavy trip, make sure to get your 8 to 9 hours of Z’s in. For me, my cruise was great because I caught up on sleep and came back well-rested and rejuvenated. So, even if you are touring all day or are partying into the early hours of the morning, get your sleep. You will be thankful for it upon your return to reality, work, and regular life.

6) Cherish your vacation and the memories of it:  Enjoy every moment, turn any trip lemons into lemonade so to speak, take plenty of pictures and even keep a journal. As you vacation, live in the moment. Create ways to document it so you can always remember the special time that you had. For this cruise alone, I must have taken a minimum of 250 pictures. Yes, a lot of those will be deleted, but some of the gems will be frame-worthy!

Got any other ways to enjoy your vacation and use it to your advantage post-vacation? Share your suggestions below!

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Perfect Picture Pic – Delicious Deli

Over the weekend, I was in New York City with my boyfriend to attend a very special occasion of his family’s – his older brother’s wedding! Amidst all of the family time, him and I were able to sneak away to fulfill a tasty craving – a good old NYC deli sandwich! Off to Carnegie Deli we went, where we indulged in deli, french fries and of course, some juicy pickles!

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Great Reads for Your Summer Vacation

It may be the middle of July already, but there is still several weeks of summer to go around. With August less than 14 days away, we are almost at the month that is well-known for vacationing. Several people will escape the city for cottages, resorts, or even the last-minute Euro-trip before the Fall hits. Aside from stepping back from technology, one of my favourite things during the month of August is not just vacation, but catching up on some good books and some great reading.

During the year, I find that I don’t make time for pleasure reading as much as I would like. In turn, I take advantage of the quiet times in August when I usually take a trip and will have several hours for reading peace.

For those of you who are heading out-of-town and need some book recommendations, here are some of The Domestic Peach’s faves suited for specific individuals and tastes:

Chick Lit:

Hope in a Jar, By Beth Harbison

Twenty years ago, Allie Denty and Olivia Pelham were inseparable best friends making their way through high school until a vicious rumour about Olivia ended their friendship. Twenty years later, Allie and Olivia come face to face at their high school reunion and deal with their lives as they embark on a new chapter.

Hope in a Jar

An Empowering Story:

The Power of One, By Bruce Courtenay

Set in South Africa in the 1930s and 1940s, The Power of One follows the story of a boy named Peekay. His childhood is marked by humiliation and abandonment, yet he vows to survive and conceives heroic dreams. He embarks on an epic journey through a land of tribal superstition and modern prejudice where he will learn the power of words, the power to transform lives, and the power of one.

The Power of One

The Original Self-Help Book (which is actually great!):

How to Win Friends and Influence People, By Dale Carnegie

One of the best-known motivational books in history and has helped countless people succeed in both their business and personal lives. Carnegie’s advice has remained relevant for generations because he addresses timeless questions about the fine art of getting along with people: How can you make people like you instantly? How can you persuade people to agree with you? How can you speak frankly to people without giving offense? The ability to read others and successfully navigate any social situation is critically important to those who want to get a job, keep a job, or simply expand their social network.

How to win friends

For some solid business advice:

Good to Great, By James C. Collins

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t is a management book that aims to describe how companies transition from being average to great companies and how companies can fail to make the transition.  “Greatness” is defined as financial performance several multiples better than the market average over a sustained period. Collins finds the main factor for achieving the transition to be a narrow focusing of the company’s resources on their field of competence.

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Calling all health nuts:

YOU: The Owners Manual, By Micheal Roizen and Mehmet Oz

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. When it comes to your longevity and quality of life, understanding your internal systems gives you the power, authority, and ability to live a healthier, younger, and better life. This book challenges your preconceived notions about how the human body works and ages, then takes you on a tour through all of the highways, back roads, and landmarks inside of you.

YOU

A Romantic tear-jerker:

The Fault in Our Stars, By John Green

Even if you’ve seen the movie this summer, the book is still amazing! Sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel is forced by her parents to attend a support group, where she subsequently meets and falls in love with the seventeen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee.

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