Travel Essentials

I've Got the Power: Staying Charged with My TYLT Power Backpack

Ten years ago, the way I (Bobby) packed looked much different than it does now. One small point and shoot (the Canon Digital Elphs were amazing), no cords, no phone, no personal aircrafts (hehe who knew what a drone was in 2008?), and minimal backup batteries. Fast forward to today, and I’m loaded up with 4 cameras (2 Fuji Mirrorless and 2 GoPros), a drone, an iPhone, wireless headphones, a laptop, and a Kindle. While my previous LowePro backpack did the job in terms of storing all of those things relatively well, a new backpack has taken over as my new go-to. Enter TYLT, a portable power and wireless charging manufacturer who has designed some incredible backpacks. I’ve been carrying the TYLT ENERGI Pro Power Backpack for the past few months, and I want to give you three reasons why it needs to be on your back.

1. The Battery

The most important feature of the backpack is the 20,100 mAh lithium ion battery. It has a designated sleeve, but is removable and can be used in any bag. The battery includes a variety of ports (USB Type-C, USB Type-A with Quick Charge 3.0, USB Type A, and micro-USB), includes multiple cables for each port, and a zippered accessory bag where you can store it all. The battery is big, but it’s worth it, because it lasts a long time and is able to efficiently charge multiple devices.

2. The Durability

The bag is made of water-resistant polyester, and so far has stood the test of global travel and a 5000 mile road trip. Hiking in the rain on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, touring around Ireland for two weeks, and being thrown in and out of our car (basically our home) while traveling for 5 weeks with our puppy, this bag has some mileage on it. Yet it looks as good as new, the zippers are still functioning flawlessly (most are water-resistant too), and all the compartments are holding strong.

3. The Compartments and Overall Design

The backpack is a great size, but only if you like having your pack be organized. The 12 pockets allow for a variety of items, but won’t allow for a ton of bulk space. There’s a laptop compartment that fits a 15” device, and across from it is a zippered pocket that fits a tablet. I found that you could also wedge a neatly folded jacket or sweatshirt in this area too.

The front-opening bay (the largest compartment) is where I store my drone, camera, lenses, and a few small clothing items. There are plenty of small zipper pockets and organizers in this bay that I use to store my headphones, memory card readers, portable hard drives, pens, etc.

For me, this backpack is awesome because I love to be organized. I spend time specifically deciding what pocket or compartment is for what thing, and I stick to that. If you’re not organized, you may just want a normal backpack because you will lose things in the ENERGI Pro. It’s up to you!

If I had to choose my highlights of this bag, it’s the small touches that go a long way. This includes the sunglasses compartment where I can store fragile items, the small compartment you can unzip and pull out for your water bottle, and the slots on it that allow for you to slide it over the handle of your roller bags. It’s the little things…

TYLT has been ahead of the curve with their designs and quality, so give them a try! Their backpacks will keep all of your gear charged, so you’ll never miss a shot again!

Quick Camping Getaway with Coleman!

We aren’t the typical camper-types.


Sure, we’re adventurous, we’re spontaneous, and we love the outdoors, but we’ve always been a little hesitant to camp. We equate camping with a lot of work and little sleep. For that reason, we’ve never considered ourselves “campers”...


Until now.


Friends, we recently got hold of some Coleman camping gear and tested it out at O’Neill Regional Park, and we’ve been transformed. We actually really love camping, and we’ll say it loud and clear, “WE’RE CAMPERS.” Why you ask? Because camping means something different to everyone, and we did it our way… with the snazziest, “glamp-iest” Coleman equipment in town! (Or should we say, in the woods?) Here’s what converted us:


The 6 Person Dark Room Tent

Before this trip, the thought of setting up a tent made us cringe. You know those movies where it takes the dad all day to set up an old, ricketty tent? That’s what we thought of. But we kid you not, this tent took us MAYBE 20 minutes to put together. IT WAS SO EASY. SO EASY. It’s lightweight, sturdy, and incredibly spacious - which is important to us. We like having the ability to walk around in our tent, and the ability to have a…


Queen Double High Airbed

Oh boy oh boy, this airbed was the real gamechanger. Not because it was easy to blow up (which it was), or because it fit perfectly in our tent with plenty of room to spare (which it did), but because we slept like BABIES. It honestly rivaled our bed at home!! Speaking of which, instead of using traditional sleeping bags, we brought our sheets and bedspread - which was not only super comfy, but looked super cute as well!


50 QT. Extreme Wheeled Cooler

Say hello to the Cadillac of coolers! This beauty not only kept our food and drinks cold without a hitch, but it was incredibly easy to operate and move around. Depending on where we were hanging out, we’d cart it over closer to us. (You know, to grab that extra drink or piece of chocolate.) We also loved the size - it’s deep enough that it holds A LOT, but it’s not as wide as typical coolers, so it’s easy to pack in our car!


360 Sound + Light Lantern (used with your personal phone)

We’ll let you in on a little secret… Alli’s afraid of the dark. Nothing spooks her out more than dark, mysterious places, and not being aware of her surroundings. We were AMAZED at how bright this Coleman lantern could be. She was never nervous or frightened in the least, and you better believe that everywhere she went, that lantern went too! It has three light settings, so it works great no matter your whereabouts. But you know what the best part is??


Yep! The lantern connects easily to your phone, giving you the ability to play all of your favorite tunes while beating your partner in a round of “Tick” (currently our favorite card game). Or, it gives you the excuse to have a dance party in the middle of the day - we did!


Cooler Quad Chairs

Like we said earlier, we’re not the “typical” campers - and there is nothing typical about these chairs. Assembly is easy (as in, there is no assembly, they just pop open!), and they have the coolest features.

  • There is a cooler in one of the armrests, that holds up to four cans of beer. How genius is that?!?

  • On the other armrest there’s a side pocket that’s big enough to hold your magazines, a book, an Ipad, whatever you want!

  • The seat is fully cushioned, making it SO incredibly snug!


These Coleman products totally changed our views on camping. They showed us how fun, stylish, and COMFORTABLE a few nights at a campground can be! Even our pup Sally had the time of her life! So, where should we camp next?

Christmas is almost here! Are you done shopping?!?

Can you believe that Christmas is almost a week away?!? That means that time for shopping is almost over… so we’re here to try and help you with some last minute gift ideas. There are endless options to spread holiday cheer, and we wanted to share some of our favs. You’ll find some of our favorite travel-themed goodies, as well as some things that are on our wish list :)  Enjoy!


Aloha Collection Splash-Proof Travel Bags - These are Alli’s travel go-to bags for toiletries, bathing suits, underwear, etc. They’re lightweight, washable, trendy, and make her happy

American Tourister - These colorful travel bags are stylish, high quality, and affordable. Fun luggage that you can count on!

Art Classes Sawdust - We are all about experiential gifts. Sometimes spending time with your loved ones is the best gift you can give...and the SAWDUST ART CLASSES EXCEL in this department! These art classes are so fun. We recently partook in a Watercolor Class and in a Glassblowing Ornament-Making Class and they were both SO AWESOME. The artists that teach each class are masters at their trade, and are a blast to learn from. No matter your skill level (we were beginners for both), they will work with you and teach you all you need to know. This is a perfect stocking stuffer for your significant other, or maybe for your mom that wishes she saw you more. Regardless, they're a great time - and we've already signed up for more!

Carry-on Cocktail Kit (W&P) - Have you seen these yet? This kit provides the tools to craft two cocktails during a flight. After making your cocktails, you should probably head over to their website and check out tons of other amazing products they have at W&P Design!

Cruise - We love cruises. Give your friend, spouse, or significant other an incredible experience and gift them with a cruise!

FiftyFifty by Polar Pro - This GoPro accessory allows you to capture creative split-level photos and videos. It’s SO FUN!

Fuji XT-2 - We’ve had the Fuji XE-2 for a couple years, and this is the upgrade we’re hoping for (Hint… Santa?). It’s powerful, extremely portable, and delivers incredible images!

GoPro Here 6 Black - The GoPro is durable, waterproof, and takes amazing images. It really is a must-have while traveling!

GorillaPod - This lightweight, flexible tripod allows you to attach your camera to a range of objects. It will help you get the perfect shot wherever you are!

Hello Fresh - Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a world traveler, Hello Fresh will ship weekly healthy meals to you at home! You’ll be given simple recipes with exact ingredients… it’s so easy and fun!

HiTime Wine - If you’re within an hour of Costa Mesa, we highly recommend visiting HiTime wine. It’s a family owned retail store that has the most incredible selection of wine, spirits, and cigars that you’ll find anywhere. Trust us, and drive over. 

Neat Coffee - Another one for Costa Mesa, or Orange County, locals. The best coffee in town! Pick some up for yourself and a gift card as a stocking stuffer, and you’ll thank us later. 

Packing Cubes - They can keep you organized, they help your clothes from becoming wrinkled, and you can have a place for your dirty clothes. Packing cubes are a must!

Paravel Stowaway - This suitcase not only looks amazing, but it collapses down into a small flat pouch. It’s one of our favs!

RING Doorbell.jpg

Ring - The Ring Doorbell lets you answer the door from your smartphone. We don’t have one, but we want one!

Solar Portable Travel Bank - If you’re an adventure traveler or a weekend camper, this will save you if you don’t have access to power. We want one!

Travel Towel and Travel Undies - Extremely portable, lightweight, and durable… these are a couple of Bobby’s favorites!

Try the World - This is another subscription box that brings food from around the world to your doorstep! The products are sourced from their country of origin, and the company works with small, local artisans for the items. You’ll also get a culture guide that tells the story of each product, as well as some details on the culinary culture of the country!


TYLT - The TYLT Energi Pro Backpack carries a ton and can be your mobile charging station. It’s definitely on Bobby’s list this year!

UE Boom 2 - Amazing wireless bluetooth speaker that provides clear sound, powerful bass, and it’s waterproof!


Fun Never Gets Old - Why Cruising is the BEST

Okay, so if you've known us for more than a few weeks, you probably are aware that we are absolutely OBSESSED with cruising. It’s one of our favorite ways to vacation. The lifestyle, the people, the adventure, the food… We could really go on and on. In our humble opinion, cruise life is the best life. We've become fans of American Tourister's slogan that "Fun Never Gets Old" when thinking of cruising, because the fun you have while cruising will keep you young! And you may act just a little childish from time to time...  


People oftentimes don’t understand our love for cruising. We get asked all the time why we cruise so often, and our answers are pretty much always the same. Here are a few of the things that keep us consistently cruising, and a few top reasons for why you should get on a cruise today.



Let's start with before you go: Planning. Planning a cruise is an absolute breeze, because you buy your cruise package and flights and you're all set. The details and logistics are all very simple - especially if you live close to a port! Checking in and getting on the boat is quick and easy, and before you know it you’re sitting on your balcony, on a luxurious boat, sailing to a new tropical destination. And you can spend your days HOWEVER you want! That chaise lounge and margarita really never gets old, and some days you may just want to relax by the pool. Regardless, the optional activities are so organized and easy to book that you can do it months in advance or day of. Super easy. 


Okay this may be one of our favorites. Packing for a cruise can be whatever you want it to be: light and easy because you're living in bathing suits and tank tops OR you can go the bulky route with all of your formal night attire all of the extra room you’ll need for souvenirs. On this cruise we were planning for the heavier packing, so we made a great decision and upgraded our luggage. We got some sleek, smooth-rolling Moonlight Spinners from American Tourister. We got matching 24" bags in Marble and then a 21" bag in Rose Gold (for the extra souvenirs). These bags were super affordable, durable, and really easy to pack. (Not to mention we looked really cool wheeling them around.) ;) Check them out for your next adventure!

Unpacking... just once!

If you don't unpack your bags when you cruise, then you are really missing out! Imagine arriving at the ship rolling your Moonlight Spinners up to the door to your new home on the water for the next week. Some may walk in, drop the bags at the side of the bed, and head to the Sail Away Party or Pizza Pirate! If that's your thing... great. But here's what we do: we pop some champagne (obviously) and then leisurely unpack our bags. It's the only time we're going to unpack during this trip (as opposed to non-cruisers, who may unpack at each hotel... yuck!), so we carefully place our things as we would in our home. We talk about all the fun things we're excited to do, agree to not judge each other for the food we consume, and cheers our champagne flutes multiple times (because… vacation!) As we finish up, we take our empty bags and together push them under the bed, where they'll remain until we leave. And just like that, the cruise has officially begun. 

The. Food. 

Our mouths begin to water as we anticipate our next cruise. The food is THAT good. Even after seven days at sea we leave bummed that we didn’t get to try a certain dish because the options are literally endless. It's amazing how the staff does such an impeccable job serving up fresh, tasty, and exotic dishes day after day. It seems as though every night we’re trying something new – whether it’s escargot or a fish that’s unique to the region that we’re in! But our favorite and nightly staple has always been, and will always be, the chocolate molten lava cake on Carnival. It’s TRULY what dreams are made of.

Everything you need in one place

A cruise ship is like a floating city. It’s insane. Good food, bars, pools? Yep. Comedy shows, magic, dance clubs, stage shows, casinos? That's all there too. If you forgot anything in your toiletry bag or you want an extra bottle of red wine for your balcony, you can find anything nearby. 


Disclaimer: We cannot control how you act in the casino. If you are not there for the gambling, then we can say that cruises are really affordable! Cruising allows you to see the world, eat like royalty, and relax in style all without breaking the bank. What more could you want?!


People in Cruise-mode

Non-cruisers may not understand this, because on a traditional vacation you get all kinds of people, most of whom probably don't want to interact with you too much. On a cruise, guests have the "Fun Never Gets Old" mentality and they are social, friendly, and of course ready to party. You'll meet so many great new friends! One of our favorite places is around the dinner table... you eat at the same 10 person table each night, so you totally have a little squad by the end of the trip (unless you're traveling with 8 kids). Despite how they may be in their 9-5 daily life, once people enter cruise-mode they are laid-back, fun, and potentially your new best friend!

You'll get time to relax

In our book, embarking on a cruise is the epitome of relaxation. Stress and obligations go out the window from the moment you step onto the ship. It’s a go-at-your-own-pace, do-what-you-want-when-you-want kind of a trip. Mid morning brunch? Sure. Drinks on the Lido deck? Why not. Afternoon bingo followed by a dip in the pool? Yes please! We love the freedom of going at our own pace when we’re on a cruise. While there are certainly no limits when it comes to daily activities, there is also no shame in taking a nap. Or three.

There are 8 reasons to get you interested... need more? Shoot us an email if you're not convinced that cruise life is the best life. For everyone else... pack up your bags and let us know where your headed. We may meet you there!

Special thanks to American Tourister for sponsoring this blog post!

Saying YES to Hello Fresh!

One thing we love about exploring the world is experiencing amazing cuisine. Having a tasty meal and a good glass of wine with the one you love, maybe with a great view in front of you, is pretty incomparable in our books! 


But talk about a reality check when we get home!! One of our biggest struggles is finding our rhythm in the kitchen. We don’t really feel like cooking, few meals compare to the recent feasts we replay in our heads, and dishes are the BANE of our existence. Maybe a little too dramatic, but guys, the struggle is SO real. All that to say, when we recently came across Hello Fresh, we figured  why not?! Worth a try. And we've been hooked ever since! While we still aren’t huge fans of washing dishes, we wanted to share a few reasons why Hello Fresh has been the perfect fit for our lifestyle and our bellies. 


Hello Fresh helps us return to the rhythm of being home

As we said above, extravagant meals away from home spoil us and make us lazy. Before Hello Fresh, we'd have great intentions for cooking dinner at home on a weeknight... but when it got time to cook, we'd find a way to negotiate ordering take out instead. We'd end up spending more money than we wanted to on unhealthy food, and we'd usually eat in a rush.  Contrast that with Hello Fresh deliveries, the meals are HEALTHY, delicious, easy to make, and surprisingly fun to do together! While our plan is only 3 meals a week, that gets us used to being in the kitchen, and we often cook at least 2 more nights on our own! Some of our favorite "date nights" recently have consisted of cooking a Hello Fresh together and drinking our favorite bottle of vino!


Hello Fresh Makes Us Feel Like You’re Getting Better in the Kitchen (and we probably are!)

This leads us to one of our favorite things about Hello Fresh. It forces us to cook! The recipes are extremely easy to follow and require minimal culinary skill, but all the chopping and mincing and stirring has definitely improved our skills in the kitchen. You get to use ingredients you maybe didn’t know about, and you start to understand things that go together that you wouldn’t have thought of before (Kiwi in salsaCranberry mayo on a turkey burger?)! We find ourselves exploring ingredients on our own when we aren’t eating Hello Fresh meals. While we aren’t quite on their level at culinary pairings, we’re making progress. 

Hello Fresh is weeknight menu GOALS

We’re hoping that one day we can be as creative as the chefs at Hello Fresh. One of the best parts of getting the boxes is opening it up and seeing what they’ve thought of for the week (you can look in advance if you can’t handle the suspense). Bobby hates admitting it, but you really can’t go wrong with the traditional OR the vegetarian menu! The recipes have so much variety and flavor, and consistently satisfy our taste buds. We're serious when we say that we've genuinely LOVED all of our Hello Fresh meals thus far. Can all of our weeknights taste like this? 

Hello Fresh is reliable and FRESH

This is pretty straight forward, but it’s also really important. The Hello Fresh boxes have arrived on time every week, and we’re big fans of that. Also, the produce and other ingredients have consistently been extremely fresh - and most of the time organic! Initially we questioned how good the quality could be when the food is mailed to you in a box. But friends, it’s fantastic. The boxes have re-useable ice packs (we love this) that keep all your goodies cool, safe, and fresh. When you’re ready to give Hello Fresh a try, your food will be on time and delicious!


So what are you waiting for?! Give it a try! Use the code TRAVELINGNEWLYWEDS and get a discount on your next box. And send us a message or an email to tell us about your experience! Or... simply invite us over for dinner. ;)