Traveling with Less

Traveling with less isn’t as difficult as it once was for me. As many of you know, Sam and I recently traveled to Florida. I don’t travel much via plane, so this was a great way for me to test my limits to see what exactly I packed was actually necessary and what was not. Sam and I shared a suitcase. He brought a backpack for his carry on that carried important electronics such as our nice camera. I only brought my small backpack to carry my essentials like my wallet, a layering piece, and a book for the plane ride. Here is a list of helpful hints to use when traveling:


Essential Denim

First thing I can definitely recommend, you want to bring denim. I had a pair of denim shorts and jeans. I wore this almost everyday. Jeans were necessary for the evenings when we went out to dinner. Denim is the easiest thing to match everything with.

Simple Tops

This is something I am still working on. I really only wore this shirt in the picture multiple times. I had another tank top I wore maybe once. Learning to live a minimalist lifestyle is not something that happens overnight. This trip taught me to stop purchasing pieces that are ‘trendy’. The reason I wore this top repeatedly is because I like the way it fits and its a timeless piece. Stripes can never really go out of style. The one thing I forgot to bring was a light jacket or long-sleeved top for the evenings once it got colder.




Little to No Make Up

I’m constantly learning how to be okay with myself without any make up. I think most women can relate – its easy to find imperfections and think negatively of yourself. I’m not going to lie – I brought almost all my make up with. I barely used it. Part of going on vacation is to worry less and just relax.

Book a Room with a Kitchenette

When traveling, its difficult to limit your waste because you don’t know the areas all that well. We booked through Air B&B, I knew we needed a room with a small kitchenette. We found the local grocery store called Publix (Similar to Jewel Osco in Chicago area). Candidly speaking, we couldn’t completely zero waste grocery shop. I mean, I am still working on that even in Chicago. We did our best. One thing I forgot to pack was produce bags for shopping (fail). I would highly recommend bringing those along with your reusable totes. Having the kitchenette did help us save money while we were down there because we didn’t have to go out to eat for every meal. When you do go out to eat, bring a reusable napkin and avoid all straws.


What other tips to do have for traveling with less?  Comment below!


Photography by Sam Meinders
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Review: Chicago Architecture Boat Tour

The month of August has been such a busy one for me. My birthday was on the 9th, so I had a ton of activities going on to celebrate and to enjoy the last bits of summer! I’m so glad I’m a summer baby because there is always something new to try during Chicago summers. Its one of my favorite things about living here. The city (and suburbs) come alive during the summer months. This year for my birthday I checked one thing off my bucket list: The Chicago Architecture Boat Tour.



I have been wanting to do this tour for many summers now, and finally booked it for my birthday this year! I’m so glad I did because it hands down one of the best experiences I have had. No wonder is one of the top tours across the U.S.! We got on Chicago First Lady right off Wacker downtown. Its super easy to get to, if you’re not from Chicago and just visiting. It is a little pricey, about $50 per person. However, the tour is an hour and half long which to me is so worth the money. We honestly couldn’t have picked a better now, it was a beautiful evening. I would really recommend doing one of the later tours right before the sun sets because the buildings look just amazing during this time of day!

One of the coolest things about this was that our speaker was a volunteer of the Chicago Architecture Foundation! This woman knew every building’s architect and the year it was built. It was truly amazing how much she knew, you could really tell she was passionate about architecture. She also knew a lot of history about the city and the changes we have gone through in Chicago. From an industrial, port city to the residential, major city we are today. I have lived in the area my whole life, but I really saw the city for the first time. I’ve also learned that Art Deco architectural design is my favorite part of the city, along with how much history was in these renovated residential buildings now. If you are a photographer, this tour gives you access to some amazing views of Chicago’s skyline. I really wish Sam and I brought our Canon, so I had to settle for some iPhone images to show you all.

Art Deco


Some of our buildings here in Chicago are built with sustainability in mind, which of course I love! There is whats called a LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. There are multiple levels: certified, silver, gold, and platinum. There are multiple reasons your building can get one of the LEED levels. Buildings with this certification use less water, energy, and reduce green house gases. Here is just a small list of LEED projects in Chicago. 

This is what a sustainable lifestyle is all about – more experiences and less things. 

If you are interested in the boat tour, check it out here. Also, here is the link to the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

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