Posts Categorized: travel

Packing for a Trip with Multiple Destinations

Packing for a Trip with Multiple Destinations

Packing for a trip with multiple destinations is one of the hardest packing challenges if you ask me (which is saying something, because a quick weekend trip gives me a run for my money when it comes to packing). It’s even more challenging when you’re dealing with multiple climates. Last month had me packing for Iceland, Amsterdam and Florida and it was a challenge. Definitely not a trip I was able to use my typical approach of packing for, aka throwing everything in my bag an hour before I need to be at the airport.

It seems that it is becoming more and more common to hit more than one spot when traveling these days. Whether its because you’re trying to maximize vacation time or taking advantage of deals like IcelandAir’s stopover (which is what we did) whenever a friend mentions they’re going abroad it’s usually a multi stop trip. I’ve done quite a few of these trips in the last few years both international and domestic, and have finally figured out the art of packing for a trip with multiple destinations (and climates!)

1. Check the weather // Check the weather forecast, and keep checking it if you’re going somewhere that has fairly volatile weather patterns it’s hard to predict what the weather will be like period, let alone 10 days out. Also read a few blogs

2. Make a list, and check it twice // I can’t stress this enough. Making a list is so crucial when packing for a trip with multiple destinations. I usually start by making a list of everything I would be bringing to each place if they were two separate trips. Once I have my “master list” I go through and see where I can consolidate instead of bringing duplicates.

3. Lay everything out // If you have an spare bed in your house I find this is the best spot to lay everything out, otherwise the couch or even the living room floor is perfect. Just make sure you can lay everything out so you can see it, this way you’ll be able to see everything before you put it in your bags.

4. Make a list of what you need // Check your original list with everything you’ve pulled out so far, then make a new list of everything you need. Be sure to think about all your toiletries here, I realized that while I wouldn’t need it for Iceland, I was going to be landing in Amsterdam during tulip season which meant all the allergies requiring a trip to CVS for some Sudafed!

5, Do a practice pack // See if it will all fit so you can figure out if you can fit it all or need to pare down a little (which I always inevitably end up having to do)

6. Layers are your friend // If you’re going to be experiencing different clients, embrace the layers. This way instead of needing to pack a Winter and summer Wardrobe you can just layer up for the cold and down for the warmth!

7. Get a jump start // This is not an easy process, start a couple days before your trip to make sure you’re not rushing and don’t forget anything. If you have any time at home between trips, pack for the next trip before you leave for the first one. I was supposed to have 18 hours from when I landed in DC from Amsterdam and when I was supposed to leave for Florida, because of major delays I ended up having 6. I was so beyond happy that my bag was already packed for Florida. All I had to do was pull out my toiletry and makeup bags and stick them in the new suitcase, it was perfect!

These are just a few things that work for me, I am by no means a packing expert, in fact I’m pretty terrible at it. If you have any tips for packing for a trip with multiple destinations I’d love to hear them so send them my way!

photo via Marie Claire Australia, edited for this post by me

Minneapolis MN Travel Guide

Travel and lifestyle blogger Brianna Manzelli of Bree West shares her Minneapolis MN Travel Guide to help you plan the ultimate trip! Minneapolis has a special place in my heart, my first job out of college was headquartered there and I was able to visit a few times for work and absolutely loved it. Last year I was lucky enough to go back and spend about a week exploring a little bit beyond my old office and had so much fun. I was there taking a class so most of my recommendations in this guide are for downtown and perfect to get your own itinerary started!

If you’re planning a trip and need help figuring out where to stay or are looking for things to do, I pulled together my ultimate Minneapolis MN travel guide to help make sure you don’t miss anything!

Travel and lifestyle blogger Brianna Manzelli of Bree West shares her Minneapolis MN Travel Guide to help you plan the ultimate trip!

Where to stay:

If there is any advice you should take from this post it is this: stay at the Loews MinneapolisIt has to be one of my favorite hotels that I’ve ever stayed in. The location is great, it’s connected to the Skyway (a great walkway connecting buildings around downtown) so in the winter you don’t have to go outside in the freezing temperatures and it’s super close to everything. From my room you could even see into Target Field, which was very cool!

Last time I was there it was snowing and I remember sitting in my room feeling like I was inside a snow globe, it was awesome. The rooms at the Loews are fresh, and gorgeous, not super modern but they don’t feel old and worn out like a lot of hotels, the amenities are great, and I swear to you it is still the comfiest bed I’ve ever slept in.

Travel and lifestyle blogger Brianna Manzelli of Bree West shares her Minneapolis MN Travel Guide to help you plan the ultimate trip!

Where to eat and drink:

Grab drinks at Cosmos at The Loews
Butcher & the Boar
The Bachelor’s Farmer
Hell’s Kitchen (go for breakfast and have the lemon ricotta pancakes)
112 Eatery
Spoon and Stable
Dakota Jazz Club (grab dinner or drinks and listen to some music)
Seven (the sushi is great!)

Travel and lifestyle blogger Brianna Manzelli of Bree West shares her Minneapolis MN Travel Guide to help you plan the ultimate trip!

What to do:

Minneapolis is situated on both sides of the Mississippi River and is one of the Twin Cities, so if you have the time you can visit Minneapolis and St. Paul while you’re there! The city really is gorgeous, if you’re a runner make sure you bring a pair of sneakers and head out for a run along the river or to Lake Calhoun!

Visit the Walker Art Center 

Sculpture Garden // I’m not the biggest fan of modern art museums but I do love a good sculpture garden and this one doesn’t disappoint! Especially, the giant spoon with the cherry on it, so fun!

Walk Across the Stone Arch Bridge // Head down and walk along the banks of the river before crossing this bridge, it’s a gorgeous view and a pretty cool bridge in itself. It used to be a railroad crossing and is the only arched bridge made of stone on the Mississippi!

Lake Calhoun // If the weather is nice (read: not -22 degrees) take a walk or run around the lake or enjoy some of the activities it has to offer!

Minnehaha Falls // I love how much water there is in Minneapolis, between the river and all the lakes it’s gorgeous, but the fact that there is a waterfall within the city is amazing. I stand by my statement that I could never settle down in a landlocked state but Minneapolis makes me think I might be able to at least tolerate being away from the ocean.

First Avenue // When planning a trip definitely look at First Avenue and see who’s playing, a quick walk from The Loews this historic venue was one of Prince’s favorites and remains one of the more popular spots!

Mall of America // Okay, I have pretty much been wanting to go to this mall since that Mary Kate and Ashley movie came out when I was like ten. It’s not actually in Minneapolis but you can make a stop on the way from the airport like I did during a layover one time, and live out your Mary Kate and Ashley dreams.

Travel and lifestyle blogger Brianna Manzelli of Bree West shares her Minneapolis MN Travel Guide to help you plan the ultimate trip!

Have you been to Minneapolis? I’d love to hear what your favorite spots are!

Send me Your Iceland Recommendations

Iceland Recommendations

picture of the Blue Lagoon, one of the Iceland recommendations I received for my 2014 trip 

If you’ve been reading for a while you might remember when I went to Iceland a couple of years ago and absolutely fell in love with it. I sadly didn’t get to spend more than a few days and for most of it I was stuck in the hotel because of record setting wind speeds, I’ve been dying to go back pretty much since the day I left and I’m finally making the trip with my family next month!

We are so excited to go, and will be there for quite a bit longer this time around. So far we are planning a pretty epic road trip (if I do say so myself) around the country. Over the next couple weeks, we’re hoping to nail everything down for the trip but right now are starting by just making a massive list of all the places we want to see, then narrowing it down to what’s realistic (then hoping that Mother Nature is on our side so we can see as much as possible!)

It seems like everyone has been to Iceland since I last made the trip, and as I’ve said in the past, some of my favorite travel moments of the last 3 years have been thanks to the recommendations from y’all! So if you’ve been I want to hear it all, all the Iceland recommendations you have.