Travel Essentials

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. ;)

Start Saving Even Before You Leave the Airport

In a past article here on Traveling Newlyweds, we showed how you can enjoy luxurious travel without spending a lot of money. While it's good to plan and monitor your expenses with regards to your destination, the practice of saving should start early on in your trip.

After all, anyone who travels wants to save money, and we’re always looking for ways to save in everything we do. From the hotel and accommodations to the food we eat, travelers in general want to find the most affordable choices possible, but what we don’t always realize is that we can save money even before we leave the airport. 

Airports are notorious for being non-budget friendly places. The items, including food, are generally expensive, with Boarding Area reporting that it’s because even restaurants and retail stores have to pay fees to the airport for operating. “Airports as public entities make things more expensive too,” they write. “There are often monopoly suppliers of certain goods that all restaurants are restricted too.”

But of course, aside from restraining yourself from buying things at the airport, there are other ways to save as well, including:

1. Taking the Express Train

Whenever people travel to the airport, they either ask friends and family to take them, or take taxis, as they’re more convenient. However, many people forget that most airports now have their own express railways. For example, Singapore Changi Airport has a train station that’s accessible by foot from two of its terminals, with the first train arriving at 5:26am and the last departing at 11:18pm. Many people often forget this, but it’s a very convenient way to get to the airport.

2. Choosing Long Stay Parking

There are still many travelers who take their cars to the airport, especially those who are coming from somewhere relatively far from the air hub. If you’re driving yourself to the airport and staying away from home for a few days, airports also have options that allow you to stay frugal. As a point of reference, London’s Gatwick Airport has both short stay and long stay parking, according to the information on airport parking resource Parking4less. Gatwick also has a meet and greet option that can work for passengers in a hurry, and its parking lots also have shuttles that go straight to the airport. This is generally the same across all leading airports, especially in Europe so make sure you do your research well before you set off on your travels.


3. Only Exchanging a Small Amount of Money

Convenience tends to cost a lot, which is why, if at all possible, you should exchange your currency pre-departure. Foreign exchange booths at the airport charge two fees: a service charge on top of a high currency exchange rate. To avoid such hefty costs, travel expert Krystin Arneson suggests that you exchange just enough to get you into town so that you can search for reputable international services like Western Union. It also might be slightly cheaper to withdraw cash from a local ATM depending on your bank, as each financial institution has their own rates for foreign charges.


Traveling doesn't always have to be an expensive hobby, as you can find small ways to save on even the most trivial things. Follow these three tips, and you’ll find that traveling isn’t as expensive as you first thought.

Keeping it Simple in Bali with our Six Word Itinerary

As most of you probably know, we just got back from the trip of a lifetime to Bali, Indonesia. We were very quickly overwhelmed by the plethora (great word, huh?!) of picture-perfect resorts, world-class restaurants, and dream wanderlust destinations. In order to avoid extreme travel FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), we chose to partner with American Tourister and figure out a six-word itinerary to keep our trip focused. For Bali, it made most sense to have the following six-word itinerary…




Here we are going to share about how we lived it up with this simple, yet all-encompassing, itinerary. 




Being in Bali, it is not hard to find a spot where the surf’s up. Of the 10 days we were there, Bobby managed to surf EVERY day (even going out twice a few times)!! In Bobby's words, "the surf was big, the water was warm, and the froth level was high" (meaning Bobby never wanted to get out of the water). 


One of the best parts about surfing in Bali is that there are so many amazing spots with diverse scenery and waves. From surfing a reef while planes land over your head (Airport Rights), surfing a black sand beach in the jungle with nobody else in sight (Yeh Gangga), or surfing in front of the tiny Warung you slept in before (Balangan)... Bali surf can provide any backdrop. You can find world class barrels at Padang Padang on the Bukit Peninsula or slow rolling surf at Old Man's in Canggu. Bobby tried a little of everything, with his favorite spot being an incredible wave called Medewi. It's not as well-known as some of the other spots in Bali, so keep it hush-hush. Bobby was so excited when we got to our hotel that he was in his trunks with board-in-hand before he'd even taken his luggage to the room. Fortunately, he had the patience to settle into the room before heading out for a surf!


If you're thinking "Surf's Up", Bali may be your spot. If you want to explore all the island has to offer, the Z-Lite bag is compact (yet spacious) enough to toss in the car alongside your surf gear. You may find the perfect wave and want to stay awhile!



Rice is one of the staples of the Balinese diet. So much so that in the 9th century, the Balinese found a way to fill their sloping landscapes with rice. The irrigation system of canals, tunnels, and temples allowed for all the rice terraces, or rice paddies, to flourish... and man, are they breathtaking! 


While there are rice fields everywhere you look in Bali, not all are created equal. The rice fields in Ubud are worth a day trip, as they are so picturesque and majestic (and there is a monkey forest nearby!). We spent hours wandering through the fields, meeting the local farmers, and even having a beer with them! The beauty of the rice terraces wowed us, it's unlike anything we've ever seen before!



This may have been our favorite part of our itinerary. (And we're not talking just food... although the food BLEW us away!!) 


Speaking of which, we had some of the best food we've ever had while we were in Bali. If only we could have packed some of them up in our suitcases! ;) Everything we ate in Bali was so good, so healthy, and so cheap! One of our favorite spots was called Crate - and it was as visually stunning as it was delicious! They had everything from whimsical smoothies to savory egg dishes, and (Bobby's favorite) “The Barber” where they stack French toast, fried banana, scrambled egg, and bacon all together. AH!

Next up. Coconuts. We both had at least one EVERY day! Why not? When in paradise, and when they cost a dollar, why not rehydrate with some fresh coconut water with lime?! Definitely a rhythm we’d like to keep up at home!


A tropical treat that doesn’t feel like real life: Balinese massages. For less than $10 you can have an hour-long massage. We'll say it again in case that didn't sink in: For less than TEN dollars you can get an HOUR massage - on the beach!!! It sure is easy (and affordable!) to treat yourself when you're in Bali!


And our last tropical treat: the sun. For it’s tanning powers and the show it puts on at the end of each day. Both of us were able to bronze our bodies a few shades darker during our time under the Balinese sun. While we make sure to wear lots of sunscreen, we botha also appreciate a good tan. ;) And of course, the sunsets the sunsets in Bali are on a whole other level. The sun treated us well during our trip!

What made our six word itinerary unforgettable was that it was a solid guide, but also had some flexibility. We knew what we were looking for when it came to the surf and the rice paddies, but we had no idea what kinds of tropical treats we would discover. With such a perfect summer climate, we were able to pack our Z-Lite’s pretty light (who needs more than swimsuits, sandals, and a couple shirts) and have room for all our essentials (and some extra space for souvenirs!)

Thank you to American Tourister for sponsoring this post!