My 5 Favorite Travel Hacks

I don’t know if you’re a new reader or if you’ve been with me from the beginning (either way thank you for being here) but if someone asked me what’s the one thing that’s defined my life I would say without a doubt that it’s all the traveling I’ve done! I’ve been truly lucky to have been able to travel with friends and by myself too many times to count, but I also grew up all over the world with my family never really settling down in one place. We moved every 1-2 years, sometimes every 6 months and others we moved within the same month and that has taught me so much! I am grateful to my parents for giving me and my brother these life experiences that have made me who I am today.

So as I was writing down ideas for new blog posts the other day, I realized that I’ve never really shared any traveling tips on the blog so here are some helpful hacks I’ve learned one the years to keep in mind for your next travels:

*I’m aware that the first one runs long, but trust me you need to consider this…

Travel Hack No. 1: Rent a car to get from/to the airport. If you live right next to the airpot then obviously disregard this, but that’s not usually the case. I’m here to share that it’s cheaper to rent a car from your local Car Rental service provider and drop it off that same day at the airport than to pay for an Uber/Lyft or even worst to leave your car at the airport and pay parking for the week –that gets expensive fast. This of course also works from airport to home because again these car rental providers are everywhere! So it’s easy to drop off the car rental and take an Uber from there to your home or have a loved one pick you up at that nearby location.

To give you an insight… Last time I did this, I rented a car for $26 (tax included) from San Diego to Orange County (about 90miles away). I booked it online because it’s cheaper than waiting to get to their facility and I had of course chosen the lowest rate expecting to receive a small Fiesta, who cares right? But instead I was nicely surprised that they gave me a new Jeep Renegade 4×4, more than enough space for me and my 2 pieces of luggage. I had checked UBER and LYFT and with either it would have been close to $100 one way. In this case it’s also cheaper than taking the Amtrak train, and cheaper than the expense of gas from driving myself back and forth and having to pay the parking structure for however many days –This of course varies depending on where you live, but you get the idea. It is also a better option than having to ask a friend or my boyfriend to drive the 2 hours down there (that’s if there’s no traffic) and then a 2hr drive back just to pick me up. This also is not taking into account that during peek seasons and even holidays, flights tend to get delayed and having to re-arrange pick ups last minute is just one more thing I don’t want to worry about when I’m already stressed. So truly, this is just so much more convenient!! Next time you need to head to the airport consider this option, I live by it.

Travel Hack No. 2: Avoid over packing by taking photos of the outfits you’re taking. I swear it’s not a blogger thing! It might sound over the top at first, but hear me out because I started doing this years before I ever started blogging and it 100% works! If you take a photo of exactly what shoes you’ll need with what outfit plus handbag and accessories included, then it inevitably prevents you from over packing. Simple as that! I do however always pack a dressier option regardless if I think I’ll need it or not, it’s just smart to be prepared rather than feel underdressed, right? So what I do is I wear the FULL outfit and literally take a full body mirror selfie and then roll the clothes. That way I know that every single item I’ve packed is worth the space in my luggage, plus it’s not like you have to make a cute face… Think of it as taking inventory so it really just takes a second! This also helps me see if I can re-style an item with several other outfits therefore saving me tons of space. *Don’t forget to pack several Fresh Scent Packets in your suitcase to keep things smelling fresh, you’ve probably heard this plenty but I always do it and feel so grateful I did.

Travel Hack No. 3: I use Muslin bags to protect my shoes inside the luggage. I bought a pack from amazon, but I know they sell them at Michaels and Joan’s and all of those craft stores. They’re cheap and so worth it! Because I don’t know about you, but it just kills me to put new shoes next to things inside my lugage that might dent and damage them or what’s worse, let the dirty soles touch ANYTHING else I’ve packed (I get anxiety just thinking about it). But these thin little bags with their cotton strings won’t take up any extra space, they’re easy to wash and really do keep your bffs safe.

Travel Hack No. 4: The Travel Pillow with Hoodie that actually works. Take it from me, I DO NOT sleep on planes, I have been flying since I was 1 year old and my mother can testify that my mind and body cannot relax on a plane. That is until she recently gifted me a Pillow with a Hoodie attached, I’m sure many of you have seen them but I’ve truly figured out what makes a travel pillow work! The hoodie part needs to be long enough where it basically covers my face down to the tip of my nose so I don’t feel claustrophobic and the pillow part needs to be the higher/taller memory foam one so I don’t feel like I’m choking, I swear this combo makes it easier to tune out the rest of the world. I know there’s eye masks but I get headaches and migraines ALL the time and sleeping masks always end up giving me a pulsing pain on the temples after a while, so no thank you! Of course, you could argue that you could just wear a normal hoodie with your travel pillow but there’s something about both items being attached that keeps your head nice and levelled allowing you to actually fall asleep without the annoying pillow slipping off or moving around. It’s been life changing for me. I guess you would have to go try a couple different ones to see which is your best fit because some necks might be longer than others but look for these details and you’ll never travel the same!

Travel Hack No. 5: I use Stopwatch on my iPhone. This one is simple but it keeps me from going insane. How? Well let’s say my flight will be 5 hrs and 20min, so the moment we are actually taking off (not a second sooner) I press start on Stopwatch, close the app and wait as long as I possibly can to peek at how much longer the flight will be (if you have an android you will find the option as well). I know it’s a mental game, but it really keeps me occupied on other things and distracts me from how much I do not want to be there. I also make it so the timer goes off about 25min before landing that way I have time to put myself together, freshen up my face with any face mists I have, fix my hair, put away my things, etc.

And lastly guys, there’s nothing more wasteful than coming home with foreign change in your pocket so why not donate it to someone in need? Before you leave a country do a good deed and think about giving it to a homeless person. It’s of little loss for you but a huge help to those who have nothing.

Hope you found these hacks helpful on your next travels and if you do apply any of them you can tell everyone Erika shared it with you lol. And please don’t be shy and let me know, it would make me so happy! Safe travels everyone.

Thanks for stopping by at Wander With Love,

Travel: The Wayfarer Hotel Santa Barbara Experience

It’s been about 2 weeks since I got back from my Getaway in Santa Barbara, CA at The Wayfarer Hotel and I can’t stop recommending it! It was such a fun experience. The hotel is covered in fun and unexpected little gems in their decor like the rainbow colored book wall, the giant sized Jenga blocks in the leisure area and the old fashioned telephones in the rooms which I totally used as prop! It’s a fun and unique concept for a city that has so much to offer, I left inspired and with many plans to go back. I got to enjoy this stay with my Blogger friend Vicky from @fashionbyvicky, keep reading to find out all the cool spots we discovered together.

The Wayfarer Hotel_erikadvm

This is my first time staying at one of the many locations Pacifica Hotels has in their collection, which is over 25 hotels in California and I just found out they even have some in Kona, Hawaii —Is this a sign I should head back already?? I think so! But honestly though from the moment we arrived, everyone at The Wayfarer Hotel was beyond accommodating and on top of every little detail, which I really appreciated because its always the little things that make your stay that much more relaxing and memorable.

The room was so nice that we kind of slept in the first morning! The day before I had traveled back from Mexico just in time for this new getaway and these comfy beds just wouldn’t let me leave them! But you know I love my food, so eventually we made it into the communal kitchen for complimentary breakfast and enjoyed it vacay style!

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The Wayfarer Hotel Rooms_erikadvm copy

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Prior to this tip I had done my research (like the control freak that I am) to learn the best restaurants to visit and best way to get around. I had heard that The Wayfarer Hotel had an amazing location, but it wasn’t until I was there that I realized there was so much to cover by foot, you wouldn’t believe but everything is literally so close by! They do offer complimentary bikes to take around the area but the weather was so nice that we decided to put on comfy shoes and enjoy the Funk Zone this way. And if you haven’t been let me tell you it is so entertaining! From distinct wineries and restaurants that draw you in by the decor alone! To fun little boutiques, beautiful landmarks, the farmers market in main street on a sunny week day stroll but again, all at a walking distance from The Wayfarer Hotel. Sounds nice doesn’t it?? Keep reading to make the most out of your next trip.

WINE Tasting SB

This hotel has an agreement with a local winery that is literally around the corner which is called Paradise Springs Winery that when you mention you’re saying at the hotel, they will give you a complimentary wine tasting. So of course we made sure to stop by! We were greeted by the kindest woman who let us take our time enjoying each glass of wine while we marvelled at the modern design this winery has and of course take the oppounity to capture some photos —-Two bloggers traveling together remember?? Of course we were clicking away every 2 seconds— I love a girls trip!! So anyways, don’t forget to stop by this little gem because it was really fun part of our day, I fully recommend it.

POOL DAY at The Wayfarer Hotel_erikadvm

Of course our trip wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t actually enjoy the hotel’s amenities and that calls for a Pool day or in our case two pool days…

The Wayfarer Hotel

THE WAYFARER HOTEL 2

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The hotel has a lovely view so it was such a joy to come back from lunch and layout for a few hours until dinner time and then it was off to more exploring! We came across this beautiful little Spanish looking restaurant with bugamvillea flowers all over called Loquita which was SO DELICIOUS! We had dinner here and ordered way too many appetizers plus the Paella which is a good size for two people. Out of all the restaurants we tried in the area, I would say this was my favorite one so I’m definitely going back.

Overall I had a really fun time! I had only been to Santa Barbara once before on a day trip, but there is nothing like being able to stay at a comfortable Hotel to fully enjoy your surroundings! Pacifica Hotels offers the small hotel experience for a good reason, the service will always be a personalized one that will ensure a highly pleasant experience like the one I had but always at an affordable price, it’s a win-win. I encourage you to look into their many locations for your next trip! I hope you found this helpful. There is much more traveling I have scheduled for the rest of this year so check back for my next adventure!

The Wayfarer Hotel: https://www.wayfarersb.com                                                                        Phone: 805-845-1000 | Address: 12 E Montecito St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

As always thank you for reading,

xo Erika

 

 

 

Hawaii Trip with Hyundai (New Kona Vehicle)

This past week I got to do something really exciting with HYUNDAI. I partnered with them to promote the new Kona Vehicle and test it all around The Big Island! They flew me and other Influencers to Kailua-Kona Hawaii (place where they got their inspiration for the car) and just explored the island for 4 days. It was such a fun adventure!!

First, let me say that I’ve had a long experience driving a Hyundai myself, so going into this I knew I could fully trust the company and feel confident about promoting their car. I would never post about something I don’t fully believe in. And I am extremely glad I was part of this media introduction because I was very impressed with this SUV! Specially by its advanced technology, but more not this later. First, for all of you who have not been to The Big Island before let me explain something I just learned on this first visit. The biodiversity of the island itself is insane! They have 8 micro climates, which means Hawaii is one of the most ecologically diverse locations in the world. It goes from one extreme to the next, a Humid tropical climate (how Hawaii always looked like in my head), to Winter dry, to monsoon, to Arid and semi-arid climates, to desert like dry, Summer warm and Summer cool. Crazy it’s all in one island right? Well it was the most perfect place to put this vehicle to the test and we certainly made the most of it!! In the everyday outings we drove it on all terrains… Volcanic rock scenery, secluded beautiful beaches, the wet tropical jungle, up the mountains where I swear I felt I was in Ireland and all in-between!

Hyundai Kona Erikadvm Hawaii Trip
*This is the Kona in Pulse Red color
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Some of the most impressive features comes from their interior technology. The Kona connects with Amazon Alexa and Google Home plus the Blue Link Car System, so I downloaded the app as was quickly setting in the atmosphere of the car from my phone before I even got in the car! How cool is that? With Blue Link you can Lock and Unlock, Remote Start with cool or warm climate control, has remote car finder (HELLO so perfect for me! I always forget where I park) and so much more.

Plus Kona has the option of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which we made the most of on these road trips, has an 8-inch color touchscreen with navigation, rear view monitor with parking guidance, rain sensing wipers, among other amazing features but my 2 favorite ones have to be the Head-Up Display which is a 8-inch clear display that pops-up with safety, navigation and audio information while you drive (great for those who easily distract like me) and the Wireless charger for you phone! I know, I know of all things… but the heart wants what it wants and mine was beating for it not to mention their phone retrieval reminder and how it’s compatible with Android and Apple Smartphones since I use both Google Pixel and iPhone. You just place it down and voilá it charges instantly while you drive, that easy!

Hyundai Kona Media Introduction Hawaii

“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good”


I got to enjoy this trip with my other half Tom, who is also my photographer so this experience was extra special! I am lucky to have such a supportive man by my side. Honestly when it comes to traveling for work it can get stressful sometimes, there’s a lot of pressure to deliver high quality content, network and still trying to be in the moment but having someone on your team who gets that and knows how to calm you down when your perfectionist side is taking over is a true blessing! This trip was just the right balance of it because I had him with me, so I came back feeling overjoyed.

waipio valley hawaii
couples traveling

And not just that, but the entire Hyundai Team who came with us went above and beyond to make sure we had a magnificent time! Being an Influencer means you get to work with a wide variety of companies every year, some good and some not so great but let me tell you this team was beyond accommodating and prepared. I meant it, they perfectly planned the entire trip down to the very last little detail. From having members of their team waiting for us at every location with food and beverages, a fun itinerary with equally balanced leisure time to enjoy the cars as well as a variety of activities for us to try out all around the island, provided several suggested routes to take, you name it! They did it.

But above all, it felt more like a family atmosphere where everyone was genuinely connecting with one another and go to experience all the best the new Kona vehicle has to offer. To me all of this speaks very highly of their values and of who they are as a company. Having the opportunity to test out these exceptional cars was already an exciting experience but their kind attentions made it a truly memorable one and that will alway build genuine relationships.

Erikadvm Hawaii Hyundai Kona
HYUNDAI KONA - Wander With Love
hyundai kona Kailua Hawaii erikadvm
KONA Hyundai Hawaii Erikadvm

Now for someone who doesn’t have a family of their own yet and who loves taking long road trips with friends, I have to say this is a perfect option! I have all this extra room inside but it’s compact on the outside. It is very smartly designed and honestly with all the safety features and far better technology I am sold on it. I’ve been considering upgrading my car this year and haven’t gotten around to it yet but I’m seriously considering upgrading to this car, I meant take a look…

Erikadvm Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona Wander With Love Travels
*The Kona in Sonic Silver color with leather interiors 
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Hyundai Kona erikadvm Hawaii
Wander With Love - Erikadvm - Hyundai
Photos by Thomas Freeman

I’m already having withdrawals from this beautiful trip but I am very happy with all the memories I came back with! I always encourage people to look into things themselves so here is the link for you to find out further info on their Shopper Assurance.

Thanks for stopping by,

xo Erika

Summer Travels: My Tulum Experience

Before Summer ended I wanted to make a little trip and Tulum/Cancun is always a great idea am I right?? The warm turquoise water never gets old, I get to visit my beautiful country and eat all the delicious food I want! What’s not to love…

Travel Style Wander With Love

Travel Recap Wander With Love

During my stay in Cancun I was too tempted to stop by Nizuc Resort & Spa to enjoy their delicious cuisine and beautiful hotel! And I’m so glad I did because the service was truly wonderful and the food well you can see for yourselves…

hotel review Wander With Love

I’m still craving it, let’s just say that!! I wasn’t sure what to expect because this hotel is new and I had never been there, but the whole experience was a magical one. It’s a very exclusive resort so you feel like you have the beach all to yourself! Not to mention premium spot by the cabanas, the right ambiance at the restaurant and for all my bloggers out there… no crazy amounts of people behind you while trying to take a photo, you know the struggle haha

Travel Recap Erikadvm

No but all joking aside, I truly loved this place and I would definitely go back! I mean just look at the view of their lounge area…

Tulum Wander With Love

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PRETTY TOO

After enjoying a few days in Cancun I moved on to Tulum. And of course I could not stop by without going to Coco Tulum. A very beautiful boutique hotel that has the most beautiful cabana like rooms, each with a hammock outside and their lounge/bar area is spectacular!

Coco Tulum Erikadvm

They created this relaxing swing-bar like area where I spent my day drinking margaritas, swimming in the ocean and of course like any good blogger… taking tons of photos for my blog! I mean let’s face it, I take hundreds of photos whether I travel or not but this place definitely deserves to be shared with all of you.

Coco Tulum Wande With Love

What I wore:

Milla Open Shoulder Romper by Sugar Lips | Sugar Lips Palms Dress | Nevada Pant Stripe by The Bare Road | Waikiki Wrap Dress by XIX Palms | Bambi Bikini by Tacoola | Tassel Earrings by Bauble Bar

This trip was everything I wanted and more and I’m already planing to get more stamps only passport! But as fun as this is, we can’t forget that blogging is my job. So yes it looks like the perfect moment (and in many was it was) but I do go through my creative process to make sure it looks as perfect as possible. Behind every photo there’s hours and hours of work which includes researching the best spots to visit, best photographer to work with (always a challenge when traveling), getting previous authorization to take photos in certain places, making sure you’re portraying the look/product/place in a professional way, then of course going through all the content and start editing! It’s a lot more work than people realize, but so so rewarding. I don’t think I would have it any other way.

Also my boyfriend joined me the second week and I was so happy he did! No matter how beautiful a place is, it’s always a THOUSAND TIMES better if you have company with you and I could not have had anyone better than him!! I did have tons of stuff to get done, so in order to do it all, I put in extra hours, worked my butt off to get most of my content done before he arrived and that way we where able to enjoy our vacation to the fullest and not worry about a thing! Well, except for doing social media updates, Insta-Stories, tweets, Facebook, etc. You other bloggers out there get it, right?? Haha he’s always so supportive of my blogging and I love him so much for it! It really takes a lot to be able to do this and I know that without a support group I would not be able to do any of it. So I’m grateful for that! But for those of you who get overwhelmed trying to tackle everything I have to say just stay organized, stay focused and know that sometimes it’s okay choosing to be in the moment over taking the perfect photo. You have to find the right balance otherwise you will no longer enjoy the job, right? Hope you liked this post! Until next times loves…

xo Erika

Travel Diaries No. 4

 

Hi there!

                   As some of you might have seen on Snapchat or Instagram, I’ve been traveling for the past month and it has been so much fun! I was able to relax and visit some of my favorite places, so of course the weeks flew by. But its back to reality! So now that I’ve gone through all the photos I took, I want to share some with you <3

While I was down there,  I stayed mostly in Puerto Vallarta. The weather right now is perfect so of course I lived in nothing but my favorite bikinis and enjoyed a margarita.. or two. And one of the brands I love wearing the most is Triangl. I love the fabric, its the perfect fit and they recently launched a new and more cheeky design for their bottoms!! I’ve been waiting for them to do this forever so of course I had to have it! It was the perfect swimwear for our gorgeous bungalow hotel called Hotelito Mio.  If you are ever in Puerto Vallarta you have to stop by! Its about an hour from the city but sooo worth it! Like I mentioned on my last post, I feel very lucky to be able to travel as much as I do so I never take it for granted. Every trip inspires me in different ways and right now I need all the inspiration I can get to keep pursuing my goals for this year <3 So I’ll be taking a special trip very soon again.. but more of that later;) For now I’ll leave you with these photos, hope you like them!

Beach Day

Mexico Beach

Paradise

Look at how beautiful and tropical this hotel was! I will definitely be coming back here..

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Get away

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beach life

Triangl girl

hammock

Hotelito Mio has the most beautiful and relaxing area where of course I took a nap and enjoyed the beach view.. So much fun!

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triangl swim girl

You can shop what I wore here:

The Ruby ‘Tokyo Lights’ Bikini from Triangl

It was the perfect little getaway! I will be posting more about my trip in the next few days;) Hope everyone is having a wonderful week! And as always thank you for reading.

xo Erika