Monthly Archives

June 2018

Sun Safety

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WHEN I ORIGINALLY WROTE THIS sunscreen post, I based it on all types of sunscreens. So, my top 5 came out to be

1. Neutrogena

2. Banana Boat

3. Coppertone

4. Hawaiian Tropics

5. Aveeno

I wrote a whole blog piece about how they protect our skin, but I started to realize something… Do they protect our environment? Do they protect the coral reefs from getting bleached when we swim in the ocean or snorkel? Mother Earth is our home base and I believe it should be equally respected from all angles, like the coral reefs. Our coral reefs help the trees produce oxygen for us. Products with the ingredients Oxybenzone, Butylparaben, Octinoxate, Methylbenzylidene camphor, and so many more, are polluting our oceans and destroying the coral reefs. We need to recognize the damage that is being done to our environment and start making a change.

So, my research went from “best sunscreen” to “best biodegradable, eco-friendly, reef safe sunscreen” and I put together a list of the TOP 5 BIODEGRADABLE, ECO-FRIENDLY, REEF SAFE SUNSCREENS.

Sun Bum Mineral Sun Care

Sun bums new, zinc-based mineral collection is ideal for your safety and protecting the earth. These products are healthy, especially for the most sensitive skin, because it is made with specialized hypo-allergenics and is fragrance free. They are100% vegan, gluten free, paraben free, and cruelty free, as well. For babies to adults, this sunscreen is great for everyone and the environment.

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Mama Kuleana Reef Safe Sunscreen

This handmade sunscreen is made by mama Kuleana in the West Maui Mountains in Hawaii. Her sunscreen is eco-friendly and reef safe. Each container is made with love, so you know the person behind it cares about your health and the environment. The best is, she uses biodegradable containers to protect the environment. The ingredients are Organic Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Organic Safflower Oil, Non-Nano Zinc Powder, Raspberry Oil, Rose Hip Seed Oil, and Vitamin E oil. She also includes the essential oils: Carrot and Frankincense, for their skin protecting properties.

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Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

At Blue Lizards, their belief is, “We believe that strong protection doesn’t require a harsh touch.” So, they created a chemical free, mineral based sunscreen that is safe for the environment. Mineral based sunscreens reflect the sun’s rays, not absorb them. Their smart bottles change color when they are exposed to UV light. The color of the bottle top changes from white to blue. This sunscreen is dermatologist recommended.

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Suntegrity Skincare

This sunscreen was made with those who lost their lives to skin cancer in mind. This holistic, mineral sun care is the new alternative to skin protection. This eco-friendly sunscreen without harsh chemical uses the ingredient non-Nano zinc oxide and even better, their bottles were made to be recyclable to reduce plastic waste to protect the planet. Eco friendly and reef friendly, cruelty free, and paraben free. This product protects you and the world you love.

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Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen

Founded by a beach lifeguard, this natural alternative for sunscreen is made with active antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals produced by mother earth. It’s organic, chemical free, reef safe, biodegradable, and 100% recyclable. The ingredients include Certified Natural Zinc Oxide, Organic Beeswax, Organic Black Tea, Natural Candelilla Wax, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Green Tea, Organic Rosemary Oil, Natural Mango Butter, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Sunflower, and Natural Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Soy Free. This product is safe for the smallest infant or most active athlete.

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Take a chance on these all natural sunscreens and keep protecting our planet!

“54% of American’s don’t take Vacation…”

By | Article, Blogs, Food for thought, Tips & Tricks, Vacations | 6 Comments

ONE OF THE BIGGEST STATISTICS that will make you say “What!”, is the fact that 54% of America don’t take vacation time!

I know! I thought the same exact thing when I read that.

Not only is vacationing amazing because you get to spend X amount of days on an island, relaxing, while you have servers pamper you all day long, and get to walk around in a bathing suit without being judged… There are also some serious benefits that will improve your quality of life.

Positive HealthImage result for feeling healthy gif

Life is rough. You wake up, go to work all day, take care of your kids (or furbabies), clean and feed whoever is in your household, go to sleep, wake up, REPEAT. There’s no time in there for you to take care of yourself. While you are on vacation, you get to sleep more, eat more, soak in some Vitamin C, and give your body and mind a break. According to science, you can increase your health by 20% by taking one vacation.


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Whether it’s the pressure at work, from your family, or just having a super busy schedule; taking a vacation gets you away from all the chaos in your life. It will dramatically reduce stress, anxiety, and mental and physical burnouts that you are feeling.


Productivity, Creativity, & InspirationImage result for creativity gif

Just like a battery, if we are over worked without a break, our batteries run low on juice. If our battery is low, we lose our creativity, our patience, are less helpful and hardworking, and make poor decisions. That’s why a few days on a vacation is beneficial, so that you have time to recharge your batteries, refuel and refresh yourself, and return energized.


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When your life consists of focusing on everything else around you, but yourself, you are reducing your quality of life. Taking a vacation will give you the opportunity to reflect on yourself and the changes you can make to improve your lifestyle to make it better, make you realize the care you need to give to yourself, and a sense of peace. Experiencing an island escape will be good for your mind, your body, and most importantly, yourself.


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Science says taking a vacation improves your happiness, so don’t you want to be happy? Then take a vacation!

Don’t Call Me an Agent, I am a Specialist

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THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO BEING A TRAVEL SPECIALIST, than just simply booking a trip somewhere. There is the who, what, when, where, and why of planning a trip; knowing where that special somewhere is, based on that persons’ motives or desires. There is the knowledge of knowing exactly what they should pack based on what kind of vacation they are planning and building an itinerary to make it the best vacation they have ever been on! Not everyone knows the time and effort Travel Specialists put into their jobs, so here are some things that TRAVEL SPECIALIST want YOU to know about their careers.

  1. Travel Specialists have spent most of their careers building relationships with their suppliers and resort business managers, expanding on their brand, and marketing themselves all over the world, so that their clients can enjoy exclusive VIP access, treatments, and special amenities.
  2. Travel Specialists do more than just book your flight and hotel. They provide you with a packing list and travel hacks. They will help you build your itinerary and give you advice on what’s best. They will be there for you when changes happen or mishaps. They become more than just a Travel Specialist, they become your friend to lean on.Image result for hugging funny gif
  3. Travel Specialists will never try to scam you out of your money. That is why they understand the value of you, your trip, and your money; so, they will always offer travel insurance to protect you.
  4. Travel Specialists are regular people too! They understand that life gets busy, schedules fill up, work gets in the way, the family needs some TLC; they get it! That is why they are there to do the planning for you.
  5. Travel Specialists want to keep their name proud and positive, so they will be honest with you about a location or a resort, because they want you to be happy with them and your experience. They have the first-hand experience and knowledge, so their opinion will matterImage result for travel agent gif
  6. You are a Travel Specialists number one priority. They care about your feelings, your opinions, your desires, your motives, and your experience. The more information they have about you, the better they can tailor it towards you.
  7. Travel Specialist will always keep in contact with you, with follow up with emails and reminders about things you will need for your trip, itinerary dates and times, and if there is anything else you will need.
  8. You are getting more bang for your buck when you book through a Travel Specialist. They can add on so many complimentary things like complimentary daily breakfast, spa specials, food and beverage credit, and whatever other possible upgrades of your desire.
  9. When Travel Specialist take the time to visit these locations and resorts, it’s not all fun and games. Most of the time Travel Specialist are taking notes and doing their research on the best of the best, consulting the employees and business managers to get their name known, and get top notch information for your well-being when you vacation there!
  10. Travel Specialists work for you! They are devoted to making this vacation a once in a lifetime, magical experience for you.Image result for travel agent funny gif

It takes a special kind of person to be a Travel Specialist. Someone that can build your dream vacation from the ground up. They take their time, work long hours, and make sure to get your approval from all aspects because YOU MATTER TO THEM.

The Power of Follow Up Emails

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BEING A TRAVEL SPECIALIST, develops a tendency of getting hectic, chaotic, hardworking, and whatever other words you can think of that describe being busy.

By maintaining a busy schedule and keeping in contact with your clients, improve your success, your business, and enhance your productivity is with follow up emails to your clients!

Follow up emails show your clients that you care about them and their vacationing needs. If you are constantly sending them emails asking them about their requests, how they are, their opinions, and any additional services; they will start to build a personal relationship with you. Building a trust with your clients is healthy because they will feel comfortable to come to you with inquiries and want to request your services again for another trip.

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To keep your clients excited for your emails, make them witty by adding any extra information. For most travelers, they are first-timers or traveling experts. They are learning about the experience of traveling, the culture of a new place, food, languages, people, etc. So, sending out follow up emails with blog ideas, like travel and packing hacks, information about where they are going, and sites to see, will keep your clients on their toes waiting for your next informative email.

Instead of just sending an email with your clients itinerary, checking in, and finishing the sale. Keep it personal! Let your personality come through and put yourself into those emails. Think to yourself, “if I was on vacation, what would I want from my travel specialist?” Be honest, be unique, be attentive, and be compassionate. Give those emails some feeling.

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Music and a Beach

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ONE OF MY TOP ESSENTIALS FOR A PERFECT BEACH TRIP, is music! I mean nothing is more blissful than soaking up the sun, sand between your toes, staring at the ocean, with a cool breeze in the air; so why not add music to really put you in a tranquil state?

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We have conducted the ultimate beach playlist for your enjoyment! A mixture of a little old school, a little new school, a little tropical paradise, and a little alternative; the perfect combination to blast in your ears while you’re laying out on the beach.

  1. Three Little Birds by Bob Marley

  1. Kokomo by The Beach Boys

  1. I’m Yours by Jason Mraz

  1. Firestone by Kygo

  1. Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles

  1. Feeling Good by Nina Simone

  1. Love Song by 311

  1. Imagine by John Lennon

  1. Smooth by Santana ft. Rob Thomas

  1. Finally Moving by Pretty Lights

  1. Ripple by Grateful Dead

  1. Island in the Sun by Weezer

  1. If You Like Pina Coladas by Rupert Holmes

  1. Goodness by Emancipator

  1. Where is my Mind by The Pixies

  1. Follow Me by Uncle Kracker

  1. Wish You Were Here by Incubus

  1. Drift Away by Dobie Gray

  1. Vacation by Dirty Heads

  1. What I Got by Sublime

  1. Do You Believe in Magic by The Lovin’ Spoonful

  1. Just Jammin’ by Gramatik

  1. Someday by Sugar Ray

  1. Happy Together by The Turtles

  1. Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves

  1. Perfect Muse by Black Goldie

  1. No Diggity by Chet Faker

  1. Summertime by Janis Joplin

  1. California Dreaming by The Beach Boys

  1. Dye by Tycho



Specialization: The Strategy that Could Revolutionize the Travel Industry

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For years, the travel industry has been dominated by this “We offer everything under the sun, with an extra dose of sunshine,” mentality.

Travel agents have been encouraged by their host travel agencies to fall in line with this mindset and sell everything from bottom-dollar weekend cruises, to top-of-the-line month-long getaways.  Which when you step back and look at this approach at a macro level, it is not only puzzling, it is simply poor business sense.

Go by any news stand and flip to the business section and you will find articles on the continuing decent of many industry-dominating big box stores.  While there are a number of reasons for this, including technological advances and changing consumer shopping preferences, one undoubtedly cannot deny that overlooking the benefits of specialization has been a contributing factor.

Big box stores including Sears, Kmart, and most recently Toys “R” Us have all faced bankruptcy partially due to a core business model failure and a refusal to adapt in the face of shifting market demands.

The core belief behind big box stores inherently revolves around one-stop-shopping.  Over time, and with ever-increasing purchasing options in the marketplace, generalization is a strategy that consumers are ever-increasingly less tolerant of.

A huge reason the marketplace is rejecting generalization boils down to one thing; customer service.

When a company offers an enormous variety of products, customer service inherently suffers due to the watered-down training that its employees receive in order to cover a mass amount of information in a relatively short on-boarding process.

A relatable example is the type of customer care one usually receives at Walmart.  While the options are endless, unless one goes in knowing exactly what they are looking for, one could get lost in a sea of choices with little to no guidance on finding the product that is right for them because it would be impossible for employees to have specialized knowledge ranging on everything from butter to bicycle pumps.

In short, “jack of all trades, master at none” can lead to undesirable customer retention rates.  Which is why it would be foolish for host travel agencies and their travel agents to believe that they would be excluded from the undeniable business truth that there is strength in specialization.

This paradigm shift from focusing on everything, to specializing in a few key areas has the potential to prove crucial for people seeking to sell travel in today’s market.

Specializing in one area such as a singular resort chain, or a specific type of vacation package has a number of benefits including smaller learning curves upon entry into the industry, a narrowed sales focus, and a higher perception of authority among prospective clients.

Typically, when someone becomes a travel agent their welcomed with a sea of informational material coming from a swarm resort chains and are expected to at least breeze over them.  And while some information will be retained, most will be lost.

This is a problem that travel industry veteran, Burt Kramer recognized and has sought to change in his latest venture Luxevo Vactions.  When he founded Luxevo Vacations, he structured the business to revolve around specialization and customer service, which has been a major factor in the development of the company’s culture.

Luxevo Vacations has gone as far as refusing to follow industry norms and call their representatives travel agents, but rather brand them as Travel Specialists.

“After spending over 15 years in the travel industry, we noticed that the travel agents who had a narrower focus on what they sold tended to do better.  They were more knowledgeable, made more sales, and their client were more loyal to them.  When we started Luxevo Vacations we wanted to set up our Travel Specialists for success by educating them, showing them the value of specialization, and providing them with the tools to be successful,” Burt told LXVN.

Luxevo Vacations Travel Specialists are also armed with the knowledge of what resort chains and tour companies have renowned customer service, so they don’t waste their time burning bridges with clients who get sent to resorts that aren’t everything they say they are.

Luxevo Vacations is seeking to revolutionize the travel industry with a culture that is customer-service based and specialization driven. In a marketplace where customer service is significant, and specialization is demanded, Luxevo Vacations may just have the key to standing out.

Packing Hacks for the Stressed-Out Traveler

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BEING PART OF THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY, we LOVE travel hacks that will make life that much easier. Especially, when it comes to packing. Packing is never easy. It is actually very stressful, and we never know if we packed enough or we always tend to overpack. With our little tricks and tips, we will be able to help take some stress off of the whole idea of packing.

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If you’re going on a week trip or a a month long excursion, there is no reason to bring an outfit for every day! That takes up too much room in your luggage and you’re more than likely not going to wear all those items. Your best bet is to pack items that are diverse. Items that you can mix and match and also dress up to dress down to save space. That little black dress looks great with heels or great as a bathing suit cover up. The button down collared shirt can be worn causal or worn out to a fancy dinner. Either way, you can wear an article of clothing more than once, styled differently, for different occasions and still kill it on your vacation!

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If you’re like me, then you are neurotic about wrinkled clothes! Rolling your clothes in your suitcase is great for saving space AND reducing wrinkles. (Tip: Buying travel sized Downy Wrinkle Releaser keeps your clothes fresh and dewrinkled. HIGHLY recommended!)

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If you’re an overly organized person when it comes to packing; like you keep all your shirts folded together, socks and underwear together, pants separate, then you need to invest in packing cubes. You can get a set of 2-8 pieces, all different sizes for cheap on Amazon. They keep you completely organized, easy to pack and unpack, and saves tons of space by keeping your items compact

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Once again, if you’re like me, then you can’t stand that smell of plastic on your clothes from your luggage when you unpack your stuff. So, A little trick is to pack loose dryer sheets throughout your luggage; in your shoes, between clothing items, in pockets, WHEREVER YOU WANT! It keeps your clothes fresh and smelling like clean laundry.

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This is optional, but if you are packing a few pairs of shoes, then you can pack your undergarments inside your shoes, with dryer sheets. Socks, bras, underwear, whatever you are able to roll up or stuff, it saves space by packing those smaller items into your shoes, if your shoes are going to be taking up space.

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These 2 items are key for keeping your liquids and toiletries safe. If you are bringing bottles (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, sunscreen, etc.), then wrapping a small piece of plastic wrap around the lid, is great to ensure no leakage. Also, for extra security, place these wrapped items in a ziploc bag.

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Have you ever had one of those moments, where you need your phone charger or headphones and when you go to take them out, they’re all tangled? Yeah. If you said no, you’re lying. So, to keep those pesky wires organized, you can take an old sunglasses case, roll your wires separately, stick them in the case, and because of the soft fabric inside and tight space, they won’t roll around and get tangled. Plus, they are easy to access and tiny enough to not take up too much space.

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Just like the wires, it is the same thing with jewelry. Because of the chains, they all get tangled, then they get tangled around your dangling earrings, and chunky bracelets. Save yourself the stress and get a daily pill container and pack each item in the separate slots. It keeps your jewelry organized and you less stressed that you have to spend a half hour untangling the chains.

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Health and safety is very important when it comes to traveling. Nothing is worse than forgetting your stomach medicine or fever reducer or if your clumsy, tripped, and cut your hand; you are going to need bandaids. Make a DIY (do it yourself) first aid kit. This can consist of: band aids/gauze pads/medical tape, Neosporin, travel sized tissues, pain reliever/fever reducer, prescribed meds, motion sickness medicine, allergy medicine, eye drops (just in case), and insect repellant. All these items can be found in travel sizes. It is better to be safe, then sorry!

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Be smart and pack your essential items together in your carry on, for easy access. Your wallet (ID/passport, credit card, etc.), phone charger, headphones, laptop, book, sunglasses, and medications/med kit should all be kept together in your carry bag, so that it easy to get to and organized.

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With these tricks and tips, we can help make traveling less stressful and keep you organized!


By | Article, Blogs, Destinations, Places, Vacations | No Comments

When traveling, there is always the infamous question, “will that pass-through TSA?”

TSA, alone, is a very nerve racking, nail biting experience; even when you are a harmless traveler. Whether you love TSA or not, they are just here to assist you and keep you safe.

They want to make sure that you comprehend safe and smart packing for a laidback traveling experience and to help with that, that they created an Instagram page, @TSA, with post relating to what can go through TSA and what can’t. The best part about these post is they insert a lot of humor into their responces, (which is surprising because they don’t look like a group of comedians when they are sorting through your bag…)

An even better helpful tool, if you post a picture, with a question, and tag @AskTSA; they will respond to you with an honest, but humerous answer to your question.

Because we are travelers, and spend a lot of time with TSA; we just wanted to share with you some of our favorite TSA posts!

With all the buzz about #420 today, we wanted to offer a #ProTip. If you’re considering traveling with marijuana or cannabis-infused products, don’t. We’re not looking for your jazz cabbage, but if we find it, we’ll have to notify local law enforcement. … TSA doesn’t have any regulations that address the possession or transportation of marijuana and cannabis infused products, but under Federal law and many State laws, it’s a crime to possess or transport any detectable amount of marijuana. … Having a State-issued cannabis card or other documentation indicating that the marijuana is for medical purposes doesn’t exempt you from TSA’s requirement to notify law enforcement. It’s up to the responding officer, not TSA, to determine if possession of the marijuana is authorized under State law, or whether to make an arrest or confiscate it. … This picture is from 2014 when 80 pounds of marijuana was discovered in a checked bag at the McClellan-Palomar Airport (CLD) in California. … #TSATravelTips #marijuana

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

These can fly! Well… they can fly on the plane as a carry-on item, but they can’t actually fly anymore. Those days have clearly passed for this swarm. They’ve been pinned down for quite a while on a project. I’m guessing your husband made you ask because he didn’t want to be a pest and bug us, right? … This is a screenshot of a tweet sent to the AskTSA account on Twitter. … Have you ever wondered whether or not you can pack a certain item? If you're a regular follower of this account, I'm sure you can think of many situations where it would have behooved somebody to send us a picture first. Well, fret no more! Now you can do just that… … Simply snap a picture and tweet it to AskTSA (, or send it via Facebook Messenger ( and our team will get back to you promptly with an answer. … And that's not all. Contact us about any TSA related issue or question you might have. We can even help you if you don’t see TSA Pre✓® on your boarding pass. … We look forward to answering your questions, 9am-7pm daily. #AskTSA #TSATravelTips

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

This is a perfect example of how to do it as long as the bottles are 3.4 oz. or less and the bag can be sealed. Each traveler is permitted to carry-on one sealable bag. Sorry, but unfortunately, drinking these at the gate or on the plane is not permitted. Rules are rules… – This is a screenshot of a tweet sent to the @AskTSA account on Twitter. Have you ever wondered whether or not you can pack a certain item? Fret no more! Now you can simply snap a picture and tweet it to @AskTSA or send it via Facebook Messenger and our team will get back to you promptly with an answer. If you're a regular follower of this account, I'm sure you can think of many situations where it would have behooved somebody to send us a picture first. And that's not all. Contact us about any TSA related issue or question you might have. We can even help you with TSA Pre✓® issues. We look forward to answering your questions, 8am-10pm ET weekdays; 9am-7pm weekends/holidays. #AskTSA #TSATravelTips

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on


Airplane Etiquette: Be a Friendly Flyer

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There are numerous types of people who sit next to you on planes: the one who calmly flips through a magazine with their headphones in, the other who is a nervous wreck who can’t stop fidgeting and gasps anytime the seatbelt light comes on, and lastly the man spreading slob who takes over your entire area. Whatever the case may be, being courteous and utilizing airplane manors, will make your inflight experience (as well as theirs,) much more enjoyable.

Here are five rules of airplane etiquette to follow to ensure a stress-free and more-comfortable flight.Image result for airplane etiquette gif

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Help Each Other

If you see someone looks lost, stop and help them with directions or if someone is struggling to place their overhead bag in the bin, just give it a push. It doesn’t take much to be a kind person and help someone out. You should always strive for good karma for your future.

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Respect Your (Limited) Space

It is not enjoyable to be cramped up in a tiny seat for X amount of time with very minimal space. So, it is always nice when you respect your space and the person next to you respects there’s. Evenly share the arm rests with your neighbor and don’t lean your chair all the way back if the person behind you will be utilizing there tray table. It’s about understanding each other feelings and being respectful.

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Watch Your Volume

A lot of people try to sleep on their flights just to get that little bit of rest because traveling is tedious or they utilize this time to read a book, listen to music, or watch their television show. So, just be courteous of the people surrounding you and keep your voice at a low volume. If the person next you is clearly in their own zone; give them their space. Don’t break their concentration by initiating conversation. Silence is golden.

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Don’t Be THAT Napper

If you know you are going to be napping on the plane, be prepared and pack a neck pillow. They are great for upright sleeping, so that you  are not, little by little, slumping over onto your neighbors shoulders. They are already super uncomfortable in their tight space, they don’t need a stranger resting on their shoulder.

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A tight airplane space, is not the place to bring some chili to eat or a fast food hamburger. Everyone from the first row to the back row, will be able to smell your meal and it will be nauseating. Be mindful of the type of food you carry on; preferable bland food or snacks that do not have an odor to it.

Follow these 5 major airplane etiquette rules and your fellow passengers will thank you in the long run!

Why Everyone Should Unplug While on Vacation

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EVERYONE, FROM GENERATION Z TO BABY BOOMERS, seems to be obsessed with their electronic devices. Whether it is their iPhone, tablet, gaming console, etc., it seems like we are always plugged into our devices more than we are plugged into the actual world around us. That’s why, when we’re on vacation, we need to put the electronics down and try to forget about their existence. Put the devices down slowly, walk away, and actually enjoy the beautiful world that surrounds you!

How often do you go out to dinner, look around, and see a family of five with their noses in their phones instead of actually engaging in conversation? How many times have you been that family?

How often have you gone into a mandatory work meeting, and instead of conversing with your co-workers and asking about their new puppy or their kids, you’re scrolling through social media and praying that nobody tries to talk to you?

How often are you at a party and nod your head at the person who is trying to engage in conversation with you, wishing they would just go away because you want to get back to examining your Instagram homepage?

How often have you tripped over the sidewalk or run into a glass door because your eyes were fixated on your phone instead of on your surroundings (I’m totally not saying this happens to me on a regular basis)?

If you said no to all of these, you’re probably lying.

I could go on and on, but my point is, how often are we “too busy”, wrapped up in the online world, instead of paying attention to the very real, very exciting one right in front of us?

Way. Too. Often.

So, when you’re on vacation, put the phone down and look up. Look around. Take in your surroundings. Enjoy the cultures, the sceneries, the smells, and the activities you’re participating in. The entire point of vacation is to break away from the mundane of your everyday life. But, if you’re still constantly on your device, the only thing that’s different is the ground you’re walking on!

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Believe me, I’m not against technology. I love Instagram and iMessage; it helps me stay in contact with all of my favorite people! But, vacations are meant for us to disconnect from the outside world, to relax, and to reflect on who we are and what we want out of life. Being so connected to our devices means that we’re really only halfway experiencing everything. We’re documenting this activity on Snapchat and posting this picture to Instagram and checking how many likes you got at this “check-in” on Facebook. In doing all of that, we aren’t actually enjoying these experiences… we’re actually just documenting them for everyone to think we are having the time of our life, but in reality, we are just drowning in our phones.

It’s so important to live in the moment—to be present in our own lives. We tend to think that our online presence makes or breaks us. The number of followers we have on Instagram or the number of friends we have on Facebook is somehow equivalent to our self-worth. But isn’t that silly? You aren’t measured by how many likes you get on your latest photo or how many comments you receive on your newest status update.

Carpe diem, guys! Live in the present and enjoy every second of this beautiful thing we get to experience called life.