Parking Lot Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

It’s the holiday season, and along with all of the fun, comes the need to be aware of your personal safety as well as that of your property. One of the most dangerous places during the holiday season is the parking lot.

Criminal activity picks up this time of year. Most of the time it is theft of property, but in some instances it can be a personal attack. People are busy running to and fro and not paying attention as they normally would to their surroundings.

Keep these following safety tips for the parking lot in mind during this holiday season to protect not only your property, but also yourself.

  • Be aware of your surrounding when shopping. Do not let anyone that you do not know to get close to you. Walk with a purpose and get to your car quickly.
  • While walking to your car, pull your key out and be ready to get in quickly.
  • Women should try not to carry over-sized purses that are easily grabbed.
  • Glance underneath your car as you walk up. Thieves have been known to hide underneath cars waiting for the owner to approach.
  • Glance in the back seat before you get in your car.
  • Try to go shopping with a friend or family member. This is especially true for women. But men are not immune to being attacked either.
  • Try to park in well lighted areas if you are shopping at night.
  • It is best if you can go shopping during the daylight hours if at all possible.
  • Do not leave valuable items in your car where they can easily be viewed. Try to put all valuables in your trunk, or at the very least, on the floorboard.
  • If you are a woman, it is strongly encouraged that you get a security guard to follow you to your car if it is dark out and you are parked far from the store. This is especially true if you happen to be in a mall parking lot.
  • Do not flash money while you are shopping.
  • Women should refrain from wearing pony tails while shopping. According to interviews with prison inmates, women with long hair are more often targeted because they can be grabbed and controlled more easily. So keep your hair tucked under a hat or coat hood as much as possible while you do your shopping.

In short, take extra care to ensure that you are not an easy target. A thief wants an easy target where they can make an easy theft, and then leave without the fear of getting caught. Keep these parking lot safety tips in mind and make yourself a difficult target. Do not become a victim.

World Ventures Dream Trips – Good Deal Or a Joke?

World Ventures is a travel company that offers “dream trips” to people looking to experience travel. They also provide an income opportunity to people looking to start a travel business. The company is controversial, and many have questioned whether it is a legit opportunity. We blow away the smoke and review what this business is all about.

World Ventures – At A Glance

As a travel company, world ventures provides vacations (called “dream trips”) to clients. They book these trips online, and by doing so, claim to have “combined the power of the Internet with network marketing”.

The company was started by Wayne Nugent and Mike Azcue, who have ties to another company called GTT. World Ventures launched December 10, 2005, and claims to generate sales of just under $150,000,000 in revenue, and it costs $400 to join the company.

World Ventures Dream Trips – A Closer Look

The first controversy starts with the connection of the owners to GTT. This company has come under significant criticism for it’s marketing practices. The executive board has some interesting titles as well, such as “Chief Strategy Officer” and “Chief Visionary Officer”. How unique.

The Bottom Line

The real issue with the company is the marketing that is advocated and taught. The old MLM model of recruiting “friends and family” is still alive and well there, and for all the lip-service, they do not encourage the use of the Internet (beyond email) to grow your business. They do have pretty graphics and fancy java-script on their website, but their marketing strategies are strongly rooted in the 1950’s.

To sum up, this COULD be a good opportunity is a marketer that had skills stepped in and applied those skills. The average person looking to cash in on the travel industry will find some significant lacking in the actual marketing system that drives sales.

Vacations – 5 Tips for Booking a Vacation Online

You’ve heard it a million times before, but if it’s sounds too good to be true well guess what it is! Like most things when booking a trip online common sense prevails. So trust your gut and if it doesn’t seem right give it a pass and keep looking. Here are 5 tips that will stop you from being scammed when booking a vacation online and help you keep your hard earned money!

1. Make Sure the Offer is from a Legitimate Supplier! Scam artists are real good. In fact they can look more professional that the pros! If you click on a banner ad or read a review promoting a particular vacation do your homework. Read through the content as the bad guys will portray themselves as, for example, being from Hilton Hotels. So if it’s a promotion for Hilton, go to their company website or call them to make sure the offer is there. If it’s not, chances are you would have been ripped off.

2. Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Not all companies are household names and yet they most likely have a legitimate offer. It sounds trite, but contact the local BBB of the city the business is located in to see if there are any reports of them. According to the BBB the travel industry is in the top 25 for complaints.

3. Beware of Delayed Reservations. This one is a classic! Make sure you put your purchase on a credit card – no cash and no checks! If you pay by credit card you have 60 days to dispute the charge. So if you are booking a vacation for 3 or 4 months down the road make sure you are sent the reservation within a few days. The scammers will wait to the 61st day or longer to send you the reservation when it’s too late to dispute with your credit card company.

4. Don’t Pay by Check! Once you have the money is gone and if you have a dispute, probably too bad as the supplier has your money!

5. Read the Fine Print. Not sexy and no doubt a bore. But make sure what the salesperson or sales page has promised is not contradicted in the fine print. If it is, get out of the deal or call your credit card company quash it.

Booking a vacation online happens a million times every day without incident. I hope these tips help you to have a great vacation!

What Tourists Should Know Before Going To Puerto Vallarta

If you are in search of a location to vacation in, consider travelling to Puerto Vallarta. This city lies on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and it is a favorite vacation destination for those who wish to unwind or indulge in a variety of adventures.

Getting there and around

Many visitors ride planes to go to the city. The Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport can be found at the north of the city center and many major US airlines conduct flights to and from the city. From there you can opt to use a taxi cab or hire private transport. Buses are also not hard to come by. Vallarta’s yachts, boats and water taxis can bring you to different gorgeous beaches.

Places to see

Vallarta is considered as one of Mexico’s most beautiful resort destinations. One of the most remarkable areas in the city is the Banderas Bay, which is one of the largest and deepest worldwide. Puerto Vallarta also has a growing number of cultural points of interest. The Museo del Cuale for instance has gorgeous pottery and clay figurines. No trip to the city is complete Jardines Botanicos de Vallarta. This facility houses numerous types of orchids and wild palms, and in there, you may find butterflies and hummingbirds flitting by from time to time. If you just want to rest, Vallarta has miles of sweeping golden sand beaches.

Things to do

The city provides a number of activities and excursions to keep you occupied and delighted. You can try whale and turtle watching, go on nature trips, visit the Sierra Madre, and experience many aquatic sports. If you’re up for it, the city is also offers canopy walks and zip lines. There are also many dining and shopping establishments to visit. Different options to rest are also readily accessible. Spas, for instance, are a fixture in many locations in the city.

Accommodation options

Accommodation facilities in Vallarta vary from well-known international hotel chains to more economical bed and breakfasts. For extended stays, you can also select from the city’s condominiums and apartment villas. Many of these accommodation facilities can be reserved on the internet.

The best time to visit

Peak season is December through April so count on seeing more expensive accommodation fees during that part of the year. The perfect time to go to Vallarta is between late June and October when hotel fees drop up to 40% and there are fewer people to compete with for various tourist services..

Accepted currency

Most establishments in the city accept US dollars as readily as they take the local Peso. Understand though that the exchange rates available at money changers are less favorable than what are available from the banks.

Luxury Cruise Deals Can Mean Vacation Savings

Finding luxury cruise deals is something that nearly everyone can do if they take a little time to do some research on what type of cruise they would like to take and spend some time comparing cruise rates. There are two ways to approach this; you can go wherever the best deal is or you can have a particular destination in mind and see if you can find a cruise deal that fits your plans.

With well over three hundred different ports of call to choose from it is not hard to find a trip to where you want to go. Because of the competition within the cruise industry it’s usually not to hard to find a discount special wherever you want to go. It may take a little research, but when trading time for savings it can be well worth it.

What many people don’t realize is that there can be a few choices they need to make while looking for that elusive discount cruise rate. There are quite a few cruise lines out there with different sized ships that cater to different types of people.

For a truly pampered and more intimate cruise try one of the smaller cruise ships that are becoming more popular. They are capable of carrying from maybe a dozen passengers up to a hundred or so. These ships have a more personal feel to them but because of their size and more exclusive feeling the prices may be higher then you are expecting. This does not mean you can’t find good deals on these smaller cruises but you’ll probably have better luck with the larger companies that operate the much larger cruise ships.

The largest cruise ships hold upwards of three thousand passengers and have all manner of activities and amenities on board. Because of the fierce competition within the industry it is vitally important that the cruise lines fill their cabins for each cruise. During the off-season they offer all manner of cruise deals to keep their ships at capacity. Having empty cabins is bad for the bottom line and the larger the ship the better the chances of getting a good discount.

Calling the cruise companies directly and simply asking what sort of specials they have currently or coming up in the future is probably the easiest way to find those money saving deals. Travel agents and travel sites on the internet are another good place to get prices. The biggest money saving tip anyone can get is to shop around. Don’t jump at the first “cruise deal” you get, you may be leaving money on the table.

8 Rules Of Christmas: Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

First of all, before anything else is said, let’s agree on a couple of things.

Sharing good times with friends and family is part of what the holiday season is all about. When these groups get together, it is often in the presence of delicious, scrumptious food. This food tends to be available for snacking all day. Personally, I would immediately call the Vatican and nominate anyone for sainthood who could truly enjoy all the festivities and be awash in the total ambiance of all the season inspires while ignoring the lavish plates of goodies while walking around munching on a stick of celery.

Oh yeah! You’re going to sample Aunt Millie’s mincemeat pie, Uncle Bob’s specially prepared fried turkey, and probably a glass of Alka-Seltzer or something similar.

Unfortunately, I am here to remind you of a few things; you are on a diet, you want to lose weight, all that stuff that is so tempting is fattening, and this is the hardest time of the year to be good. So, let’s just pick up on a few rules to help you get through the season.

8 Rules For Healthy Holiday Eating:

Before we get started, I want you to get comfortable, so put some turkey on your plate, get some of that great dressing (don’t forget the cranberry sauce), fight Cousin Ed for some of that green bean casserole my niece, Sharon, makes so well, and tell Grandma to save a piece of pie for you. Have a seat, relax, enjoy your meal (while balancing a soggy paper plate on your knee) and I will give you the rules to help you survive the season.

1. Forgive yourself in advance and give yourself permission to have a good time:

Look, this stuff isn’t poison! You didn’t take 10 years off your life just because you ate more than you should have…and then went back for seconds. You are only human, and you are here to have a good time! One of the reasons you want to lose weight, or keep it down, is so that you can enjoy life, and this is one of the most enjoyable times of the year. So, as they say, live a little. Whatever happens over the next few days will not kill you, and whatever damage you do manage to do can be rectified.

2. It’s just a couple of days:

Okay, for some families, it may be a couple of weeks…twice…Thanksgiving and Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanza. Whatever it is for you, it is finite, it WILL end, and it is mainly limited to a certain time of the year. Who you are in terms of health, fitness, and weight loss is determined by the overall accomplishments of the year, not by a few weeks in the fall.

3. Stay with your program:

You will definitely minimize the effects of all the dinners, cookies, and snacks if you can still get in your walks, aerobics, weight training, or whatever else you have been doing. During the holiday season, it can be difficult to get everything done the same as in the rest of the year, but two days of exercise Thanksgiving week, while not as good as three or five, is still better than none. Simply knowing you have not abandoned your plan will help you get over any depression you might have because of your holiday eating, and will help reduce any negative effects from all the delicious, gooey calories you have “accidentally” consumed. If you cannot stay on a formal program, squeeze in a walk, even if it is a high-speed shopping trip through the mall. By the way, this is the reason I love yoga. When everything’s done, I can retire to my bedroom and not only get the physical benefits of the yoga session, but I relieve some of the stress I may have built up during the day. That helps with the eating too.

4. Remain in touch with reality:

You will hear people speak of “mindful eating”. Be aware of what you are doing. Have you ever heard someone say, “That is so good, I just have to have some more.”? Of course, YOU and I never say things like that! Well, the truth is that you DON’T have to have some more, and, if you do, it doesn’t need to be right now. Just because the food is there right now doesn’t mean it has to be eaten right now. You know what’s good for you and what isn’t. One piece of pie today is not going to kill you or destroy your weight loss resolution, but do you have to have that pie? Isn’t there a healthier treat you could have, or could you just wait until the meal has settled, or after you take a walk to rev up your metabolism and burn off some of what you already ate? Why not take a piece home with you and have it as a treat for later…when you aren’t as full as a tick?

5. Food is not love:

Many people tend to equate food and eating with love. You cannot change the others, but you can change your own attitude. Refusing seconds of Grandma’s turkey does not mean you don’t love her. If she is hurt because you normally stuff yourself and this year you’re not doing her food “justice”, just say that you are full right now but will have more later. Take control of YOUR life. Others will have to take control of their own.

6. If you are the cook:

Choose healthy dishes prepared in a healthy manner. If you have found a new diet-friendly food that you enjoy, share that with others. This will give you one more healthy dish on the groaning board to select your own meal from.

7. Alcohol:

If you enjoy wine, beer, egg nog like my Uncle Wilbur liked, or other drinks containing alcohol, just slow down and cut back. Try slipping in a glass of water between drinks. Drinks containing alcohol are sneaky calories. They do nothing for you nutritionally, but they do have a lot of calories. A few drinks with friends can give you more calories than a Big Mac…and you probably have these drinks while snacking or eating a meal! Oh well! At least if you are a beer drinker, you can try some light beers. It will give you an excuse to sample.

8. Be happy to be where you are, doing what you are doing, with the people you love:

If you fall head over heels off the diet wagon, have fun. What you do throughout the year will have more effect on your weight and health than what happens between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Las Vegas Vacation – Tips, Tricks and Cautions

These “cautions”, “tips”, and “tricks” are offered to help make your Las Vegas Vacation as enjoyable, fast and easy to plan as possible. Whether this is your first trip to “Fabulous Las Vegas” or you are a veteran, you’ll find some useful tips and tricks here.

Las Vegas Travel Tips: First and foremost, the biggest mistake many travelers to Las Vegas make in planning a trip is to book the cheapest air fare/hotel package “available anywhere”. These are offered everywhere from your hometown newspaper to television ads to especially, e-mail spam. Beware!

Why? A Cheap Las Vegas Vacation is good, we agree! BUT, did you know virtually all Las Vegas Hotels have 2- 3 levels of room quality (or options)? Now, we mean even many of the five star, “big ones” many of these are just plain substandard rooms, maybe with a nice view of the air conditioning system! (This actually happened to me personally, and was it Loud!)

Things like older bed mattresses, no safes, old decorating, long walks to the casino, restraunts, shows, or even a taxi. Did you know there are monorail trains running right behind some of the rooms? How about a roller coaster right outside your window? And lots more. Just remember “cheapest” is just that. Ask at the front desk at check-in exactly where your room is, look at it before signing in if possible.

We aren’t pushing for only high dollar rooms here, just get the best quality room your budget will allow, you will be very glad you did.

Why book your Hotel first? Las Vegas is booked up an average of 94% year round, so plan ahead (at least 30+ days is recommended) to get the exact days you want, where you want, room quality you want. Plus, usually it’s less expensive to book well in advance. Did you know that Sunday through Thursday is less expensive? When you get your selected Las Vegas Hotel booked, then you can book a flight to fit the days in and out to fit YOUR schedule.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

Once you get your Las Vegas Hotel booked first. Then you can book the Las Vegas Shows that you want, when you want. Be sure to check to see if your particular show choice isn’t “dark” on your selected days. Holidays are a good example of dark days.

Then book your Las Vegas Tour. (If you have never experienced the thrill of a Helicopter Ride at night over “Glitter Gulch and Downtown”, or a daytime trip over the Boulder Dam and Grand Canyon this is something you will never forget!) It isn’t as expensive as you might think! Check our tours links for prices and times.

This is the entertainment capital of the World, so allow yourself enough time to take in as many attractions (dozens are free) as possible, it will make your Las Vegas Vacation much more memorable. If possible, book an extra night stay just to allow for a special Las Vegas Tour or a day of Las Vegas Golf.

Las Vegas Gambling Tips:

Gambling is the lifeblood of Las Vegas. You didn’t really think those billion dollar hotels were built by “winners” did you? Set a daily budget for gambling and stick to it! You do have a good chance at winning. Hundreds if not thousands of “Hand Pay Jackpots” are paid every day. Be careful though, those chips, tokens and ticket-in/ticket-out seem too much like “play money” they are not they are your real money! Stick to your budget! Did I say that already?

Get a “players card” everywhere you go and use it, or if you are a “table player” ask the pit boss to “rank” or “rate” you. They will track your play and comp you accordingly with all kinds of free stuff. Such as meals, rooms, clothing, limos, gift shop points and even cash. These really help put the odds in your favor.

Seems like my “budget” is always too small, but try your best to set a reasonable daily goal and stick to it, don’t tap into tomorrows budget! Just maybe you’ll walk away a big winner! It happens every day. Remember the phrase: “Walk away when ahead”!

It’s not my place to preach, but here are some very useful Las Vegas tips on handling your money. All that cash in the casinos you see everywhere attracts some pretty shady characters (read Crooks!) Security is excellent, but there are always a few, and it just takes one to ruin a perfect vacation.

Las Vegas Security:

Ladies, bring or buy a small purse with a neck strap or waste pouch, or fanny pack, something that is comfortable enough to keep on your person all the time. Never ever set your purse on the floor or next to a machine, or on a stool next to you. This is a magnet for thieves! Keep that strap around your neck.

Most thieves work in pairs, one to distract you, the other to snag your purse. Just a couple types of distractions they use are: one will drop a coin or dollar bill or two near you on the floor and ask you “is that your cash on the floor?” while the other grabs your stuff, or overly talkative “players” will sit down next to you and jabber to get your attention, while their partner grabs your stuff, or hits the payout button and walks away with your ticket. Believe me. This does happen. They are very slick and fast, so just be aware.

When you do accumulate a couple winning tickets, hide them in your wallet or purse until you are ready to cash them in, and then stash the cash. Remember the “walk away” tip?

Men: It isn’t degrading to wear a waste pouch. Okay, if you just don’t want to, then fold your bills and keep them in your front pants pocket. If they “pickpocket” your wallet with all your credit cards in it at least you’ll have your cash, or vice versa, just keep them separated. And, watch those tickets.

If you do hit a good size jackpot, take the money to the safe in your room or take it to the Hotel desk for safekeeping. Or, ask for a Security escort to your room or car. They are happy to provide this service. Don’t walk around the casino or streets with a big wad of cash!

The Security at all Hotels and Casinos is excellent. With all those thousands of cameras (Eyes in the sky) every inch of the casino is being taped continuously. (Did you know that Nevada law requires casinos to have this level of security?) It is for your protection as well as the Hotel/Casino.

Now please understand, we are not trying to scare you away here, but rather just make you aware! It is real easy to get caught up in all the flashing lights, noise, overhead shows, people watching and normal distractions of a casino. Just don’t give them an opportunity to ruin your fun.

Follow these Las Vegas Travel Tips and they will make your Las Vegas Vacation a lifetime memory.

This article may be reprinted in its entirety for use, but must include this link to

Holiday Stress Relief – 12 Days of Christmas Stress Busters

If you’re looking at the Holidays as just another stress to add to your already overloaded schedule and life, I’ve got some tips you won’t want to miss. Keep reading for Stress Buster Tips that will keep you moving through the Holidays at warp speed with a smile, plenty of laughter, and cheer to spread around.

1. Minimize. Cut out the excesses, whether it’s food, people, gifts, expenses, or extra duties, cut them out of your life.

2. Personal Time. Give yourself a few minutes of down time every day to regroup, refocus, meditate, and alleviate stressors.

3. Focus. Do one thing at a time. Don’t try to get it all done at once, choose one thing and do that, then do the next thing. (It does help to have a list and mark off each item as you complete it.)

4. Allocate Chores. Delegate chores to others and allow everyone to carry the load normally left for you to bear. Move toward cooperative living.

5. Simplify. Who says the party has to have three kinds of desert? How about providing one desert that is extra special and plenty for everyone to have seconds if they choose? Or add a delightful selection of toppings?

6. Housekeeper. Hire a housekeeper for the holidays. Even if it’s just once a week for a couple of hours to dust and vacuum, if you hire someone else to get that part done, the rest is easier to face.

7. Services. When companies offer services to go with products you purchase, accept them, allow them to take care of details and you enjoy an extra five minutes at the spa getting your nails done.

8. Laughter. Take time each day to laugh. If you feel the stress building up, take a moment right then and read a funny story. Enjoy life! Laughter was created to bring joy – LET IT!

9. Rejuvenate. The most relaxing thing you can do some days is simply to take a nap. It doesn’t have to be long, but five minutes can revive you.

10. Resourcefulness. Be resourceful. If you think you can’t do it, you probably can’t, but…if you think you can, you’ll find a way. Look for options that you might not normally think of. Brainstorm solutions.

11. Ask a friend to lunch. Take a moment during this season to remember your friends and family. A real moment, actually sit down across the table from one person and focus on all the things you’ve missed in that persons life. Truly catch up.

12. Enjoy. Take time to enjoy Christmas. Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth, take some time this season to reconnect with Jesus Christ and remember who He is and what He stands for.

Are you ready to enjoy a true 12 Days of Christmas experience?

Holiday Driving Tips – Avoiding Holiday Accidents

Holiday celebrations can be happy and exciting times for friends and family. Many people travel during the holiday season, looking forward to visiting with family and friends who live long distances away. Unfortunately, the holiday season has a high incidence of traffic accidents, turning a celebration into a tragedy if people are injured or killed. During the holiday season, all motorists should be aware of the increased traffic, and holiday travelers should follow proper safety precautions to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Drivers should be mindful of these holiday travel tips to protect themselves, their passengers, and the occupants of other drivers.

  • Leave early. By allowing yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, you can drive at safer speeds, take adequate rest breaks, and keep your stress levels down. Without enough stops, drivers can become overly tired or distracted and cause an accident and a result.
  • Avoid peak travel dates if possible. The day before a holiday is usually the day most people travel. Sometimes you can avoid traffic conditions by traveling on the holiday itself or by planning your family celebrations on other days.
  • Before you leave, check the condition of your car, including your tire pressure, oil, and lights. Carry spare and emergency equipment with you. Always have a spare tire, jumper cables, a jack, and emergency equipment such as road flares and extra blankets in case of an accident.
  • Keep your passengers safe. Make sure everyone is buckled up properly with seat belts and child restraint or booster seats.
  • Plan out a route with alternatives. Get directions in advance, with alternative routes in mind in case of bad weather or traffic congestion. Expect traffic near large cities.
  • Inquire about weather conditions and construction on highways from friends and relatives. Listen to local radio stations for indications of adverse weather.
  • Hide any sort of gift or present during stops. Brightly colored packaging during the holidays invites thieves to break into your vehicle.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. Provide children with plenty of their own distractions, and always pull off the road to use your cell phone.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Always have a designated driver if there will be drinking at your holiday celebration.

By following these safety precautions, you can make the holidays a little safer for everyone and avoid a tragic traffic accident. For more safe driving tips and information on car accident prevention, visit the website of Waukesha car accident lawyers Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C.

Packing Tip: Road Trip With Friends

We got this question from a Travelista who is going on a super fun road trip this summer with two of her friends. She wanted to know how she and her fashionable (read: overpacking!) friends could pack better and with only one weekend bag each. They also would have access to a laundry facility. Luckily, I had just experienced this with some friends and have some great tips to share.

1) Sharing means caring. Bring pieces that you can all share and that go together (if you have similar style and are similar in size) – it’ll triple your own trip wardrobe! Make sure your colors are coordinated, too. The beauty of that is that you will each look different and have your own flair with every piece! Plus, it gets your creative juices flowing. Shoes take up the most room, so if you have the same size, expand your shoe choices by sharing them, too.

For example, I shared a light boho blouse with my friend Jenn – and no one was the wiser! We wore it differently and for different occasions, so with one piece, we expanded our outfit choices in a snap. It almost made a complete round when our friend Eva considered wearing it over a very light black romper and letting it hang off the shoulder.

2) Keep it simple. Wear pieces that are interesting enough in detail but have simple silhouettes. That way you can layer them together or just add accessories (hat, scarf, funky sandals, etc.). A cool off-the-shoulder top in a square shape could go with jeans, shorts or a skirt or over a tank dress. Shorts with a subtle but fun pattern make your outfit more interesting but look different with different tops (plus you can dress them up or down).

3) Double (or triple) up. I have a fabulous scarf from Urban Outfitters that I use as a shawl at night, a scarf on the plane, a sash around a maxi dress, and a sarong on the beach (you might be able to get away wearing it as a skirt, too!). It’s a wide scarf (probably about two feet in width but looong enough to wrap around my waist, neck, etc.). I also have a tube skirt from American Apparel that can act as a skirt, tube top, or tube dress for night or day. You can layer a cool button down or oversized tee over it for day or dress it up with your scarf at night.

4) Accessorize! A hat changes an outfit in a second as does a scarf and the rightjewelry. Don’t forget your bathing suit and that you can actually wear it underneath your clothes like tanks (if you are going somewhere with a beach and it’s okay to expose the top a little).

A fedora is the perfect piece to add polish to any casual beach outfit.

5) Plan your pieces. Bring at least one skirt, one sundress or tankdress, one pair of shorts, and one pair of pants (including leggings, jeans, super-light summer pants or cropped pants). You will be wearing one of those at any given moment, so it’s not much. Top-wise, I would recommend a cool button down, a cardigan or light jacket of some sort that goes with everything, two comfy/funky tees, a tank, and a blousy top that can dress up shorts or loosely go over a tank dress. For feet – low-wedge sandals (dress up or down), casual flat sandals, and Toms slip-ons.

6) Bring only one of everything. Share hairdryers, flat irons, shampoo, etc. I always find that at the end of the day, these are things I pack last and don’t have room for!