14 Flight Hacks That Will Save You Money

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I've decided that 2019 is my year of budgeting - and traveling.

I have to satisfy my wanderlust, but this year I am going to it the right way so that I finish the year even stronger than I finished 2018. That means traveling to more new places, while not breaking the bank.

Over the past 2 years, I’ve become pretty savvy with travel and flight hacks so I wanted to share some of the things I have learned along the way. Plus, I’m sharing several great tips from my friend Cassandra (Cassie) Harris of Travel Agent Diary. Cassie and I worked together in advertising right after I graduated college, but now she’s basically has the best job ever because she’s a travel agent and gets paid to explore the world!

Cassie is the expert, so definitely take her advice and if you’re looking to book a trip, check out her website and follow her on Instagram @travelagentdiary.

Enjoy these travel tips and hacks!

Don’t Depart On The Weekend

Book in advance if possible, this will help save money instead of booking within a few days, but they key trick is to depart on an off day. Try to fly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, those are usually the best days of the week because they aren’t typical travel days. My co-worker’s dad is a pilot and she swears by Tuesdays, but if you don’t have flexible schedule, usually you can find deals on Saturdays or Wednesdays too!

This Southern Living article claims that you should book flights Tuesdays around midnight but I haven’t found the booking date to be a huge money saver, so honestly I don’t think the booking date matters as much, but if you have the patience, test out the theory!

Avoid Fridays and Sundays - that’s the main takeaway here.

Use A VPN

This is a travel hack I heard of recently that I’m going to try out when we book our flights for the Florida Keys!

Anshula, from Passport to Eden, says:

One of my favorite cheap flight hacks is to use a VPN service.

Most travel companies charge you prices based on where they think you are. Let’s say I search for “Argentina to Dallas flights” from Dallas. The prices are usually exorbitant. But if I use a VPN and pretend I’m searching fromArgentina, the prices are normally a lot cheaper.

There are thousands of VPN services to choose from. Make sure you read the Privacy Policy though because some services collect personally identifiable information for third party marketing.

The VPN service I currently use is NordVPN. It’s $2.99 a month (really affordable) if you take the three-year plan (which I did). But if you’re just planning for a vacation, it’s $12 a month. NordVPN does not log data. The company also has servers in over 40 countries (I always try to search from the country I’m planning on visiting).

Clear Your Cookies

Have you ever noticed price changes on the same flight search within a few minutes of each other? That’s because you're browsing history is being tracked, which can lead to higher costs after your initial search to try to urge you to book faster as you see prices increase.

Clear your cookies in between searches. Or, if you use Chrome, use their incognito browser. I typically start my initial searches on Google Flights because the calendar will show you prices by day, but with incognito, I can usually save $20 - $40 per flights - that extra savings can get you a couple of meals or a few cab rides when you’re traveling.

I don’t know about you, but 2019 is my year of budgeting so every penny counts, even it’s just a couple of dollars.

Holiday Flights Are Cheaper

 Depart on a holiday. If at all possible, book on days like Christmas, New Year’s Eve or Thanksgiving - days when no one wants to travel because they’re home with their families or they booked travel so they could already be at their destination on the holiday.

The worst day to travel is the day before Thanksgiving. So if at all possible, spend a holiday traveling somewhere you’ve always want to go for once! The days surrounding major holidays are some of the worst times to travel due to busy airports and high prices so departing the day of is key when using this travel hack.

Here are the Top 10 Worst Days to Travel - keep these in mind as days to avoid when planning your next adventure.

Save on Baggage Fees

My lovely friend Cassie Harris, from Travel Agent Diary, says pack light to save on baggage fees. Typically for international flights you can bring a carry on bag and a personal item for free.

Unless you're traveling somewhere cold where you need to pack heavy layers really think if you need that checked luggage or if a carry on bag will suffice.

Use Budget Airlines

Budget airlines are my favorite travel hack. My go-to is Allegiant because flights depart from the small airport 15 minutes from my house so I can avoid the 2 hour trip to the NYC airports. The catch with airlines like Allegiant, is that flights don’t show up in regular searches so you have to check their website for deals. Flights only depart on certain days and flight between certain cities - for example from my Allegiant airline I can only fly to certain parts of Florida and South Carolina.

If you’re interested in checking out Allegiant and a few more, try these budget airlines:

Download Wandertab

Wandertab is a Google Chrome extension by Hitlist that shows you cheap flights from your home airport! Every time I open a new browser tab, Wandertab shows me deals on flights around the world from my local airport. If you live in New York like me, you can just enter the city and will aggregate all of the airports and show you the best deals from them all.

If you don’t really have a set place you want to go, Wandertab is a great tool for getting your wanderlust fix. Plus, Hitlist also has a free flight app you can download to search cheap flights.

Use Momondo

I’ve heard Momondo is “hands-down the best flight aggregator ever” when it comes to booking international flights. Similarly to Wandertab, they also have a “Find Your Next Trip” section to inspire you if you don’t have a destination in mind already.

If you want to travel international, search for deals at small international airports. Stewart International Airport in the Hudson Valley has a deal with Norwegian Airlines offering flights to Dublin and other countries for as low as $99.99 - small airports want to increase traffic so they have the best international deals!

Try Hopper

For domestic searches and weekend getaways, I typically use Hopper. The app is very user friendly, you can book for friends and family, and it you watch flights.

Keep your dates/destination flexible if possible. Chance & Cassie both recommend Skyscanner, which offer you an open-ended end destination. Spontaneity can be a fun thing! Also, being flexible with your dates is helpful on pricing if you can come back from your trip a day earlier/later for example.

Use Layovers To Your Advantage

Another great tip from Anshula that I have yet to take advantage of is using layovers to your advantage!

I once found a $20 round-trip flight to Cancun. As soon as I saw it, I transformed into a giggly, bubbly twelve-year-old version of myself. Could this be true? Have all my dreams become a reality?

Well, sort of. There was a three-day layover in Denver and I was planning on booking a four-day trip. Oh, sugar. But if you’re not set on a destination, you can use layovers to your advantage. To me, I saw the ticket as a $20 flight to Colorado and back (which is equally amazing).

Book (Somewhat) Early

There’s debate on what the perfect time frame is, but somewhere between 54 - 21 days in advance is the sweet spot.

Here are some great additional sites that I use to check to check hotel rates - and sometimes flights when it make sense - to help me plan the best time to book:

Travel In The “Off” Season

Another great tip from Cassie at Travel Agent Diary, recommends booking in the off season. If you visit Southeast Asia or even Costa Rica during their "rainy season" it may only rain for a few minutes a day - if that. It won't ruin your whole trip and you could really save $$$.

Search For All-Inclusives

Pretty much everyone I have talked to recommends searching for all-inclusive packages.

My best friend Anna went on an all-inclusive trip last Spring to the Dominican Republic and came back raving about how awesome the resort was. She recommends taking cash with you to tip the staff or in case you want to splurge on something outside of the resort - a great tip that I had never even thought of!

The only catch for all-inclusive packages is that they can have strict travel dates and set menus for food and drink, but if you don’t mind (I certainly don’t if it means I’m going to Paris for $500) then definitely do your research and try this hack.

Here are some sites that offer great package holidays with all-inclusive deals.

Choose Basic Economy

Flexible with your seat assignment? Not bringing much luggage? Cassie says you can bag some cheap flights just by sitting in Basic Economy (instead of Main Cabin).

Just don't be in a rush to have your zone called at boarding. You will be last!

If you enjoy this post, please let me know in the comments below! And follow along with us on social media using the links below :)

Disclaimer: A few of the links are affiliate links, which means that I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the blog!

 

5 Travel Tips For Pet Owners

5 Travel Tips For Pet Owners via Chaos With Coffee

Stress-Free Travel Tips For Pet Owners


Now that summer is here, travel plans are in full swing! I've been so inspired by my BFF's crazy summer with her new job AND 2 moves that I've been writing more blog posts recently offering tips and advice. Between the two of us, we have 3 dogs, travel frequently across state lines, and have moved at least 5 times in the past year. There are SO many details to think about when lining up a trip, especially if your furry friend will be along for the ride. Whether it’s a leisurely vacation or moving to a new place, you can do prep work to make the journey easier for you and your pets. Enjoy these tips below, adapted from Boo Larsen, General Manager & Vice President of Veterinary Profession, CareCredit.


1. Prepare Your Pet

Practice taking rides or spending time in a carrier will help your pet feel more comfortable when the trip actually takes place. Consider microchipping your pet and make sure their contact information is current. A collar with contact information is also a necessity. We opted for a tagless dog collar when we moved to New York, which can purchase from Etsy here. If your pet is traveling in a crate, consider taping the information on the collar to lessen the chance of tags getting caught.


2. Plan Ahead

Research the pet rules for your destination. If you’re traveling by air be sure to check the specific airline policy. Hotels and campsites may also have certain restrictions or accommodations for your pet. We usually choose to stay in Marriotts because both Courtyards and Residence Inns allow pets - plus the staff is always more than friendly to Winston and they usually have treats!

When it comes to meals, make sure you have enough food and fresh water to last the duration of the trip as well as serving bowls, like these portable travel bowls. Winston usually doesn't eat a lot when we travel because of all the excitement, but he's always thirsty so these bowls are awesome to have handy - and they are collapsible!

Make sure the medications your pet is taking will last the entire trip as it may be difficult to get refills on the road. Pets also might be frightened or confused during travel. Bringing items such as blankets and toys that remind him/her of home may help ease anxiety. We always keep at least one of Winston's blankets in the car even though he never gets anxiety, but I think it helps him sleep and it gives me peace of mind knowing he is comfortable. Here are soome great options for travel blankets:

3. Know The Regulations

Traveling across state or international borders requires a health certificate. Some locations require more information, which may take time to accomplish. Be sure to check with your veterinarian well in advance of the trip to know what to expect. A check-up is always a good idea because there may be vaccinations or preventive medications that are needed before traveling.


4. Safety First 

The safest way for your dog or cat to travel via car is in a crate that has been
anchored to the vehicle using a seatbelt or other secure means. Seat belts for dogs keep
the dog from roaming but do not reliably protect them in a crash. Airlines also have
guidelines on what carriers are allowed both in the cabin and in the cargo hold. Cargo
holds are especially dangerous for pets due to variations in temperature so check with
your veterinarian about any safety precautions to consider.

Winston is really good about sleeping when we go on road trips, but if you have a nervous dog or a dog that likes to roam around a lot, check out these great travel crates to ensure your dog stays safe during the ride.

 

5. Have A First Aid Kit 

Along with your pet’s regular medications, and a brief medical history, it’s a good idea to have a kit packed for emergency situations. There are many items that can be included but you should at least have some gauze (can be used as a muzzle if necessary), non-stick bandages or towels and adhesive bandages. Make sure your veterinarian’s phone number is save in your phone in case of emergencies. No matter how much you prepare, there is always the possibility that your pet will become accidentally injured or develop an unexpected illness, prompting an unplanned trip to
the vet.


You can shop more of our favorite pet travel gear using the carousel below. Leave us some feedback in the comments below and feel free to share your own travel tips that work!

 

 

How To See New York City In Less Than 48 Hours

HOW TO SEE NEW YORK CITY

Planning the perfect weekend in New York City can be difficult if you’re not familiar with Manhattan for numerous reasons. First, you have to know where to stay (NOT in Times Square FYI) and from there it’s really best to map out everything you want to see and do so you don’t waste any time because things are likely much farther apart than you think. 

It’s always best to explore with someone who lives there or is very familiar with the city, but usually, that’s not possible so I am here to help guide you! 

We recently took our friends from California into NYC for a night and covered a ton of the city and sights in less than 48 hours. I’ll share the details from that trip below and include an additional bonus family trip at the bottom for those of you planning trips with children.

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B O O K I N G   Y O U R   S T A Y

The common misconception is that you need to stay in Times Square - this is FALSE. Stay as far away from Times Square as possible and book your stay in Chelsea or basically anywhere south of 30th St. and west of 5th Ave. You'll be much happier when you're not battling through tourist crowds 24/7.

I T I N E R A R Y

The following itinerary is based on our 2-night stay in Manhattan. I'll include our transit details and additional recommendations as we go through the weekend, but keep in mind this is just to help guide you when you're planning your weekend.

 

D A Y   O N E

1. Arriving in Manhattan
We chose to take the New Jersey Transit and arrived in Manhattan at Penn Station (34th St.). The fastest way to get to your hotel will be via train* unless you get into the city during rush hour when everyone is going to or from work. We booked our stay at the Four Seasons Chelsea on 25th St. and 7th Ave., which means the best trains to take are either the C/E or the 1 - we took the C train out of Penn Station and got out at 23rd St., then walked to our hotel. 

  • A/C/E trains run down 8th Ave., however, the A train is express so it doesn't stop at each station like the C/E, but additionally, the E train stops at the World Trade Center so to make it simple, just take the C train if you're going downtown
  • 1/2 trains run down 7th Ave.

*when I say train I am referring to the subway, I realized this can be confusing

2. Happy Hour at the Barcade: we were seeing Phantom of the Opera at 8pm and didn't have much time in between checking into our hotel and exploring before the show started so we posted up in the Barcade on 24th Street for apps and drinks.

3. Dinner at Legasea (7th Ave. & 36th St.)
Always book reservations for meals. Otherwise, YOU WILL BE STUCK WAITING for at least 30 minutes, unless you get lucky. I booked all of our meals with OpenTable to ensure we could get in and didn't waste any time waiting around when we could be exploring. 

4. Phantom of the Opera @ The Majestic (8th Ave. & 44th St.)
We walked from the restaurant to the show, which allowed us to walk our friends through Times Square at night since they had never seen it before. I will admit that Times Square is cool the first time you see it, but you want to see it at night when everything is all lit up. 

5. Back at Barcade for a nightcap 
We walked from the Majestic at 44th St. back to our hotel at 25th St., allowing us to see the city at night, walking past The Empire State Building and other sights our friends wanted to see before ending the evening back at the bar near our hotel.

In less than 12 hours, following the above itinerary, we covered 3 neighborhoods: Chelsea, Midtown and Times Square. We took our friends through Chelsea, showed them a cool NYC bar where you can drink local beers and play arcade games, had a beautiful seafood dinner in Midtown and saw Broadway.


D A Y   T W O

1. Brunch @ The Smith
Again, BOOK YOUR MEALS, especially if you want to have brunch on the weekend. The great things about using OpenTable is that the app makes it super easy to move your reservations if you wake up late or get behind in traffic.

We walked from the hotel on 25th St. to The Smith on  11th St. & 3rd Ave., which was about a 30-minute walk, but allowed us to walk our friends down 5th Ave., past the Flatiron building and then through Union Square to see the Greenmarket. 

Takeaway: when you plan your meals, plan to walk to each spot instead of taking the train or a cab so that you can cover more sights and make better use of your time.

2. Strand Bookstore: 18 Miles of Books 
Our friend Adriana loves books as do we, so I thought it would be cool to pit stop into Strand after brunch since it's right around the corner. Strand is always crowded, but if you head up the top floor, it's much quieter and you see their rare book collection!

3. Central Park (5th Ave. & 59th St.)
We took a cab to Central Park from brunch because, 1. Central Park is FAR and 2. I knew the Lyft driver would drive us down Park Avenue and around Grand Central, which I thought would be cool for our friends to see! Always try to plan sightseeing around everything you do when possible.

I purposely had us go to 5th Ave. & 59th St. so we could see The Plaza and the crazy Apple Store. Then we proceeded towards Bethesda Fountain, seeing more sights and going by way of The Mall and Literary Walk, which is beautiful in the spring, summer, and fall!

4. Leaving Manhattan 
In an effort to finish the quick trip like real New Yorkers, I wanted everyone to ride the train one last time so we proceeded to take the C train back to 23th St. from Central Park to grab our luggage because we needed to catch the NJ Transit train out of Penn Station at 4pm.

We grabbed our bags and then took the train back to Penn Station, which from 23rd St. is only one stop, making the fastest way possible.

*Pro Tip: hotels will hold your luggage after you check out so that you can continue to sight-see without having to lug your bags around


S U M M A R Y

In less than 48 hours, we covered sights from 11th St. & 72th St. between 8th Ave. & 3rd Ave. and saw the following:

  1. Chelsea (Chelsea Market, Barcade)
  2. Midtown (dinner @ Legasea)
  3. Broadway Show @ The Majestic
  4. Times Square at night
  5. Herald Square @ 34th St. (Macy's, more shops)
  6. Empire State Building
  7. 5th Avenue Shopping
  8. Flatiron Building
  9. Madison Square Park (home to the original Shake Shack)
  10. Union Square (Union Square Park, The Greenmarket)
  11. NYC Brunch 
  12. Strand Bookstore
  13. The Plaza
  14. Central Park (Literary Walk, Strawberry Fields, Bethesda Fountain)

Amongst all that we covered, here are a few additional things I wanted us to see that we weren't able to fit into our trip, but I highly recommend:

  1. The Highline (Chelsea)
  2. The Whitney (Chelsea)
  3. Washington Square Park (West Village)
  4. World Trade Center (Tribeca)
  5. Rockefeller Park (Tribeca)
  6. Irish Hunger Memorial (Tribeca)
  7. Battery Park
  8. The Standard Biergarten (Chelsea) 
  9. Please Don't Tell (East Village Bar)
  10. Rockefeller Center (Midtown)
  11. St. Patrick's Cathedral (Midtown)

For those of you traveling to NYC with children, you can find a full itinerary here that I put together for some friends who were staying in Brooklyn near Park Slope a few years ago.

This trip is based on where they were staying and includes their personal travel time, so keep that in mind and make adjustments to your own trip as needed. All of these ideas are family friendly for children 8 years and older, which is based on the ages of the children from the family that used this trip itinerary.

I hope everyone enjoyed these brief tips and can use this as inspiration if you're planning a trip to New York City! Please, leave comments and questions below in the comments or send me an email.

 

 

Travel Essentials: Escaping The Cold For California

Travel Essentials: Escaping The Cold For California

When I started writing this it was only Monday, the week had already been insane for us and I was leaving for California within the hour. I'm in Sacramento for work this week and it's so nice to finally thaw out because it's below freezing in New York for weeks. I thought I would dedicate a post to some travel essentials that help me get out the door faster when I travel.

I've briefly mentioned before that Chance and I work completely opposite hours - the only full day we both have off together is Saturday, but it's nice that I work from home because we're able to spend more time together. We both travel a lot for work, but whenever he goes on trips I usually go with him because my schedule is so flexible and I can work from anywhere. Anyways, the point is our lives are busy - some might even say chaotic (haha!).

It's critical that I have travel essentials that I can rely on to help me pack faster and fit all of my work items, like my laptop and all the cords I need. Depending on the duration of the trip I'll either take my carry on or my larger suitcase and check it. Usually if the trip is a week or less I'll just take my carry on because it's so much easier than checking a bag. Aside from that, I only carry one other bag and it's really important that this bag function as a laptop bag, tote to throw things and a cute purse for going out - that's where my MVM bag comes in handy. First of all, I get compliments on this bag every time I leave the house so it already checks off the "functions as a cute purse" requirement. Because it's leather, it's super durable and strong enough to hold my laptop, which is really important because I'm always worried about damaging the straps of my other bags. Additionally, it's the perfect width so my MacBook fits perfectly and it's not flopping all around, which absolutely drives me insane when I use other bags like my MZ Wallace tote.

While I'm mentioning it, let's discuss the MZ Wallace Metro tote, because I do usually travel with this bag since it's large and essentially functions as another carry-on because it can fit SO MUCH STUFF. When I travel with Chance I usually bring this bag because it will fit both of our laptops, all of our cords and then any other items we both need to quickly access on flights or during layovers. I'll also throw in airport snacks and drinks. This bag is definitely one of my favorites because it's also durable and I never have to worry about it being damaged when we're throwing random items in. I don't usually like to take it when I travel alone because I don't take much stuff and since it's not a structured bag my stuff will just flop around, but if you're traveling with a lot of items it's absolutely fantastic! I'll even throw in another, smaller purse so that I still have something cute when we go out. Anyways, the point is this bag gets an A+ for traveling. Not to mention the large MZ Wallace tote comes with 3 other small travel bags, which I regularly use for make-up, toiletries and more.

Travel Essentials: Escaping The Cold For California
Travel Essentials: Escaping The Cold For California
Travel Essentials: Escaping The Cold For California
Travel Essentials: Escaping The Cold For California

MZ Wallace is having a 60% off sale on select styles so check it out here. You can also shop some of the sale using the feed below. If you're looking for my large tote bag, you can shop that here.

Aside from my travel bags, my carry-on luggage is just as important. I actually found a really cute set of luggage from London Fog at TJ Maxx, but you can also find the entire luggage collection at Macy's here. I use the 20" suitcase regularly for traveling because it nicely fits everything I need for up to a week - I pack pretty light and plan my outfits out. When Chance and I travel together I usually take the larger 28" suitcase because we can both usually fit all of our stuff, but if we're traveling longer it's great for just my stuff, especially if I know I want to do some shopping and need extra room because it also expandable. You can shop my luggage using the hyperlinks in this text or by clicking through the feed below.

Hope you all enjoyed this post and most importantly, I hope it was helpful to some of you who have been asking about my travel essentials. Let me know what you think or if you have any questions in the comments below - or you can contact us via email here. Don't forget to check out more of our current obsessions, what's hot and what we're currently loving for the home by visiting here.

 

 

 

 

Hotel Life: Pt. One

Hotel Life: Pt. One

So, Chance and I have been living out of hotel for 29 days - the entire month of December - and it is exhausting. As I write this post, I'm currently eating microwavable meatloaf that I bought from the Residence Inn market and laying in bed recovering from the flu with Winston by my feet. 

Many of you are probably wondering why we're living out of a hotel so I decided to dedicate an entire post to a life update for y’all. Chance was offered an incredible opportunity to relocate to New York with his current company to manage a new distribution center in Orange County and being the somewhat spontaneous couple that we are, we jumped on board and went for it. The rest of the story will help tie in our blog name, Chaos With Coffee, because our lives are quite literally filled with chaos and fueled by coffee.

With very little lead time, we had to act fast and essentially pack up the necessities and move up north from Virginia right after Thanksgiving. The crazier part is that Chance actually left for Dallas the Sunday after Thanksgiving (11/26) and when he landed back in Virginia at midnight on Friday, December 1, I was waiting for him at the airport with a car full of clothes and caffeine so we could drive straight through the night to New York because he agreed to work that afternoon! Yes, we are crazy. We arrived at our hotel around 8am and I’m not even sure if we slept that day because our internal clocks were so out of whack.

Fast forward 29 days, 2 hotels and 1 dog later and here we are in Fishkill, NY waiting to close on our house - the countdown has officially begun! Although, we still have a month to go so we've only just reach the halfway point of our hotel stay. Stay tuned for more craziness and updates on this crazy adventure we call life.

New Paltz, NY
Montgomery, NY
Hotel Life: Pt. One
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Hotel Life: Pt. One
 
 
 

Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, I'm among the millions who live for the holiday season, begin playing Christmas music in November and only watch Christmas movies until February. I've already spent approximately 72 hours watching Lifetime holiday movies. 

If you haven't purchased a tree yet and you live in New York City or upstate New York, I recommend going to a farm to get your tree this year! Last year, when I was living in Brooklyn I borrow my friend Michelle's car and we went up and had our own tree chopped down at Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm. It was a fun experience, you get unlimited free hot cider (because it's FREEZING) and their annual Christmas ornament, which is different every year and makes for a nice keepsake. Everyone on the farm was super friendly and, as I mentioned, they even cut the tree down for you if you'd like and securely tie it to the top of your car. You essentially can just show up, point a tree and then they can do all the work for you, unless you feel like doing it all yourself. 

If you continue down, you can see more photos from the farm and of the final tree decorations. And again, if you live in New York and still need a tree, take a day trip up to Yorktown Heights and visit Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm!

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Most of the ornaments I used last year were plain since all my heirloom ornaments were in storage in Virginia, but I highly recommend starting or adding these ornaments to your collection if you're looking for new tree decorations.

 
 

Beacon, New York

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Take a trip Beacon and explore the Dia:Beacon Museum, Main Street boutiques and enjoy a meal at of the many local spots. This small town is less than 2 hours away from New York City on the Metro North and makes for a great weekend getaway. There are several Bed & Breakfasts as well as affordable AirBnbs or you can stay at the Roundhouse Hotel and fall asleep to the sound of a waterfall. 

Stop in Dream In Plastic a small shop where you can buy all of those unique knick-knacks you see floating around the web as well as a million different patterned socks (pictured below). They have great gifts for family and friends and are located right down the street from Poppy's. Poppy's is an excellent burger spot with an outdoor area and delicious fries! It's a great eatery to pop into for a beer after a long day or for a quick bite. If burgers aren't really your thing, swing into Tito's for killer tacos! 

Scroll below to see more photos from Beacon!

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Big Basin Redwood Forest

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If you're traveling to the Bay Area soon we recommend stopping in to see some redwoods. Big Basin Redwoods State Park is only about an hour and half from San Francisco and it's 100% worth the drive to see these massive trees.

We stopped by during the week while we were in the area for a work trip. The best time to go is definitely on a week day from 2pm - 5pm because you'll basically have the whole forest to yourself. Not only is the forest magical, but the trip to get to Big Basin is just as enchanting. Scroll through see more from our quick trip!

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New York Botanical Garden Train Show

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Looking for something to do in New York this holiday season? Stop by the New York Botanical Garden Train Show in the Bronx! These photos are from last year's show during their 125th Anniversary. The New York Botanical Garden does a spectacular job setting up the show and goes into detail about the history and designer who creates each unique piece from natural materials.

This year the train show runs until Monday, January 15. Adults can attend a special 21+ evening event or go during the day with your family. Buy tickets online here or in-person when you arrive. 

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