The Top 5 Travel Tips You Should Know

I love traveling because it can be extremely beneficial. It can make you see things in a new way, teach you in a way that a classroom cannot, help you learn who you are, and give you some pretty neat stories to tell later. As of right now, I have been to eight countries and way too many states to list, but I am nowhere near done with my journey. Here are five things I’ve learned for making the most out of every trip.

1—Pay attention in foreign language class. Being able to communicate with someone who does not speak English is not only cool but being able to read key words on buildings or signs can help you get around so that you don’t confuse a library with a movie theatre. Another benefit of being (somewhat) bilingual is talking to the locals. Spanish has helped me meet some truly amazing people in Europe, Honduras, and the Caribbean. Knowing just two languages can go a long way.

2—Try new things. I am always down for an adventure, whether it is ziplining, swimming with turtles, or exploring a city. This year, in the Caribbean, I tried quenepas. They are a little, round, green fruit. A local lady was selling them roadside, and I gave them a shot. I am glad I did, because they are sweet, tart, and delicious! Trying new things is important because if you don’t, you will miss out on great things that are just outside of your comfort zone.

3—Take time to learn about the culture. Something I love to do is find things that are different from my Pennsylvania hometown. One of the things I have found to be very different in every country I visit is shopping. Saint Martin, where I spent two weeks this summer, has a capital called Phillipsburg. There, many street vendors sell handmade jewelry, hats, trinkets, clothes, art, shoes, and pretty much anything else imaginable. It is a lot different from my local shopping mall.

4—Make new friends, but bring the old ones along. Traveling with a friend can be an experience that helps the two of you become closer. The girl in the picture above has been one of my good friends since first grade, but the two-week trip we took this summer took our friendship to a whole new level. Traveling together, however, didn’t stop us from meeting tons of new people and making some great friends.

5—Relax. Taking some time to relax, unwind, and spend time by yourself or with your travel partner can be the best part of your vacation. Your trip is supposed to be a break away from your regular life, so designate a day or two of your vacation to simply relaxing. Get a massage on the beach, lay out by the pool, or sleep in past noon. It’s your vacation; you make the rules!

What are your favorite travel tips? Let me know in the comments!

Essentials for a Summer Day Trip

As another summer comes to an end, I find myself constantly running out of the house on weekends to fit in fun day trips with family and friends while I can! Whether it’s a day of shopping in the Hamptons or sightseeing in Manhattan, day trips are one of my favorite ways to spend the day while I’m still home from college. No matter what the destination is, I find myself packing the same essentials when I’m out of town for the day.


My first essential item for a summer day trip is a cute pair of casual sneakers. A white pair of sneakers makes every outfit look more fun and casual, and they are the absolute perfect shoes for a long day of walking around in the summer. They are a match made in heaven with nearly any summer outfit you put on and are a great way to dress any outfit down for the day.

Crossbody Bag

I love having a crossbody bag to keep everything from my phone to sunglasses at my side during a day of adventures. Carrying around a big heavy bag is the last thing I want to do when I’m walking miles around a city all day! A simple vintage black bag like the one I have on goes with nearly everything and is always in style. It also lets me not have to think about what I’m carrying around during a day of fun.


Lastly, a phone is your best friend on any day trip! One of my favorite parts of going away for the day is trying out new restaurants. However, if you don’t frequent anywhere, in particular, it can be difficult to narrow your choices down to one! I love searching for places to eat on Instagram and seeing what the food and atmosphere look like before you even step into the restaurant. It’s a great way to discover places that you otherwise would not have considered. Searching Instagram for locations nearby is also a cool way to find awesome shops and parks that are popular around whatever neighborhood you end up in! And even easier, a quick search on your maps app is a great way to see what is nearby.

What are your summer day trip essentials? Show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @CFashionista.

10 Ways to Make Every Beach Vacation Better

With the summer of 2017 drawing to a close, you may be trying to fit in last-minute vacations and trips, or you may plan on traveling to warm, sandy climates during the winter months. Either way, these 10 ways on how to make your beach vacation better will come in handy!

1—Road trip it. If feasible, take the extra time and road trip to your beach of choice. You will gain more memories, stories, and time with your travel buddies.

2—Utilize your style. You know you have pieces of clothing in your closet that you “just don’t have anything to wear it for.” Well here’s your excuse! Push your style and take advantage of the trip to step out of your normal, everyday clothing.

3—Notice what’s around you. Some pretty incredible things can happen down by the shore that may be impossible in your hometown. Take advantage of these opportunities—you may experience a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

4—Wear swimwear you feel confident in. There is no worse feeling than being uncomfortable while surrounded by a group of people. Take time before your trip to find swimwear pieces that you feel happy, comfortable, and confident in to avoid these moments.

5—Avoid chain restaurants. Vacation destinations are known for being home to hundreds of locally-owned restaurants. Do some research to find fun and new places to enjoy!

6—Don’t forget your fitness goals. You might have been pushing yourself through workouts in order to prep that perfect beach body before your trip, so don’t throw it all away. Even if it’s just a few times over the trip, keep up with your fitness goals. Your post-vacation self will thank you!

7—But don’t be afraid to splurge. While staying on track with your fitness goals will make your post-trip physique happy, letting yourself splurge here and there on the trip will definitely keep your present cravings satisfied.

8—Keep up with skincare. This one is self-explanatory—sunburns do not fall under the definition of “fun” (and cause wrinkles).

9—Take advantage of Instagram moments. You’re surrounded by a beautiful backdrop that is most likely not common to your typical posts—take advantage of it!

10—Make time for self-growth. Vacation is a great time to unwind and take the time to invest in yourself, whether that be through reading a motivational book, making extra time just for yourself, or whatever unwinds your mind.

Show us on social media how you’re using these tips and tricks on your own trips by tagging @CFashionista.

How I Changed My Perspective After a Trip to California

Everyone says it and we’re all experiencing it: no decade is as confusing and overwhelming as the 20s. Faced with countless possibilities, social media, and an ever-changing world, it’s tough to determine what we want and what our place is. Under the pressure of finding a stable career and lifestyle, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important to us. We’re reluctant to take this time to focus on ourselves because we feel there is a divide between what we should do and what we want to do. We’re afraid to be uncomfortable, and as a result, we prevent ourselves from experiencing wonderful “accidents,” as one of my favorite authors, Gayle Forman, labels unexpected joys in her book “One Day.”

I was stuck in the same mindset when I started college. I wanted to accomplish everything expected of me. But all around me, people were making big life decisions based off of what brought them the most happiness. My sister fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving to California. A college friend transferred to a school in Rome, and another decided to spend her summer in Africa. When I visited my sister in her new home, something shifted. As I sat watching surfers in Malibu, the perfect place, I wondered what would happen if I moved there and never looked back. I could learn to surf and open a surf shop and maybe become vegan (probably not, I loved In-N-out Burger). It seemed unrealistic, like something that only happened in books or TV shows like Hannah Montana (she lived in Malibu!). But the thing is, it wasn’t.

All of a sudden, it was like I opened up a whole world of possibility. Leaving California, I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to maintain my newfound willingness to take risks. But due to airport troubles, I missed my flight in Houston and ended up spending the night there, where I met the kindest people and got myself a fantastic cowboy hat. I began to think about what life would be like if I could always be landing in different places. I thought about the people I’d met by chance and I wondered what would happen if I kept allowing myself to embrace “accidents.” After my trip, I bought a journal and made a list of things to do, some more possible than others. I could work at Disneyland, but I probably wouldn’t date Cole Sprouse. But hey, knowing your limits is part of the process.

When you put yourself on the best path for you, everything else falls into place. Living a life that makes you happy adds positivity to the world. I recently walked into a Boston bakery on a rainy day and had the most life-changing carrot cake that instantly brightened it. Flour Bakery was started by a Harvard graduate with a degree in applied mathematics who left her career behind after realizing that her true passion was baking. I would never have had that cake if she hadn’t.

What can you do for yourself this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Go Make Opportunities Happen

It is not a matter of luck.

Typically, it is the third thing people say when they find out I go to college in Europe (only beaten by, “Are you a Conor McGregor fan?” and “Have you seen a leprechaun or a pot of gold yet?”). No matter what, though, people always say, “Wow, you are so lucky.” The truth is, it was not a matter of luck at all.

It is not based on luck.

This situation is more common than you would think. You might see a cool, scenic view on Instagram and think, “That person is so lucky to be there.” You could even begin to feel jealous and want that for yourself.

What we all need to realize is that these opportunities are not based on luck at all. These amazing adventures happen because people work hard and make decisions that allow for them to be in those positions.

I found myself in my own position due to circumstances that could not be further from mere luck. In fact, it took many complex decisions to get to where I am. I studied abroad at my Irish university for a year. The choice to pack my bags and spend even that much time in an unfamiliar place was very difficult. However, I knew I was missing out on adventures and excitement that I was needing in my life. I will never regret that decision.

I have grown and expanded my mind more than I ever imagined could be possible. In comparison to my previous decision, the choice I made to stay at my university in Ireland was an entirely different ballgame. It was one that meant years away from my family and friends, as well as many economical sacrifices for everyone involved in the transfer. I knew it would make me happy in the long run. It was also clear that no part of it would be easy. I had to take a leap and reach for the adventure I was craving.

It is not luck.

It did not just magically happen.

I did not win the lottery or get offered an all expenses paid trip. My determination encouraged me to go get my visa, find housing, and make an effort to learn everything that would be required of me. I planned my own trips, learned to be ready for anything, and always had my passport on hand. I made adventures and opportunity happen. Luck played no part in my journey.

The next time you see an epic picture on social media and wish that person was you, start working. Save up money, do your research, and start making things happen for yourself. Do not wait around for opportunity to strike you. Go find it.

Have you gone and sought out an amazing adventure lately? Comment about it below!

Perfect Plans for a New York City Adventure

New York City is filled with fun street art and beautiful views. And let’s not forget the amazing shopping and delicious treats that make the Big Apple perfect for your next weekend adventure. Every corner of Manhattan offers something to do and something to see, so don’t forget to hit all the hot spots on your next trip over to New York City.

Soho is huge on graffiti murals where you can stop for your picture-perfect Instagram shot. Soho is where we found this fun and colorful mural. This Fashionista is rocking a baby blue and white striped dress with simple black sandals. The fun is all in awe multi-colored crossbody bag, which is covered in pom-pom details. This bag turns a simple outfit into a  fun and trendy look that fits in well with New York City’s aesthetic. With all the walking that comes with a city adventure, a light flowy dress and some comfy sandals are ideal on a hot summer day.

Once you get that golden Instagram photo, next stop is the treats. The city offers an array of food, with something for everyone. You can get anything from cereal ice cream to pizza in a cone. So make sure you plan ahead of time what treat you’re going try first. This Fashionista took a detour to Juicy Lucy’s juice bar for some vibrant colored smoothies filled with fresh fruits.

A New York City trip isn’t complete until you experience the awesome shopping that is offered. This is hard to resist with a Forever 21, Macy’s, and cool boutique at every corner. For your next trip to NYC don’t forget to hit all the spots and plan ahead to make traveling from spot to spot easy and chic.

What are your favorite New York City spots? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Airport Essentials to Help You Survive a Layover

I have a love/hate relationship with airports. I love them because every time I step in one it means that there’s an exciting adventure ahead of me. However, airports aren’t always full of wonder and adventure. They’re crowded, dirty, and for the most part pretty boring. If you’re traveling this summer the chances are high that you’re going to be spending at least a few hours in an airport. As someone that often flies often during the summer and the school year, I have become a self-proclaimed pro at navigating airports. There are five airport essentials to help you survive a layover.

1—Backpack. The first and perhaps the most important in my eyes is a backpack or tote to carry all of your flight essentials. Personally, I prefer a backpack because I feel that it’s easier to carry throughout the airport and keeps me completely hands-free.

2—Books/magazines. Inside of my backpack, I always have a book or magazine with me. If you’re anything like me then you’re always low on data and can’t afford to scroll through Twitter and Instagram for a long period of time even though you’d love to. While most airports offer wifi that you can connect to, you sometimes have to pay for it. I feel that a good book not only saves me a little bit of money, but it also allows me to disconnect from the world for a little bit. This summer I am reading Diary of An Oxygen Thief by Anonymous and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

3—Charging phone case. My third airport essential is a phone case that also charges your phone. I cannot begin to tell you how many times my phone case has saved my life while in the airport. Even though I always keep my charger with me, sometimes outlets are a hard thing to come by. A charging phone case saves you from an outlet scavenger hunt and you don’t have to deal with any cords that inevitably become a giant knot in your bag.

4—Face mist. My fourth airport essential is a face mist. Airports are fairly dirty and unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to control that. However, you can make sure that you feel clean and refreshed throughout the duration of your airport stay. Nothing makes me feel more refreshed than a nice cool spritz of a face mist. My personal favorites are the Tea Tree Water and the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rose Water.

5—The right shoes. My final airport essential is a super comfy pair of shoes. I always wear sneakers on a flight for a few reasons, the first being that they’re insanely comfortable. You never know when you’re going to be running late for a flight and might have to bust into a jog. When that happens you’ll be happy you wore the sneakers and not those super cute sandals. The second reason is that when you have to take off your shoes at the security check they’re easy to get on and off and you won’t have to touch the ground with you bare feet because you’ll have socks on.

If you find yourself in an airport in the near future I hope these little tips and essentials helped you. Tag @Cfashionista in your vacation pics!

How to Enjoy the Luxury of Minimalism in Travel

For most fashion girls, traveling is kind of a big deal. It’s a chance to live glamorously, packing only your best outfits and posing with foreign monuments. However, it feels impossible to stuff your entire wardrobe into a suitcase, let alone a carry-on. So don’t! Traveling with some minimalist inspiration can be so liberating once you let go of your fears, unknowns, and fashion compulsions. Here are some tips on how to achieve a carefree vacation:

1—Plan versatile outfits. Sure, you may want to wear a standout look each day, but you can save your space and sanity by creating several mix and match looks. Try dressing your outfits up or down by using a few accessories. A single sundress can transform from day to night with a touch of some statement jewelry.

2—Limit your options. No matter how hard I try, I tend to always have no less than five lipsticks or lip balms in the bottom of my bag somehow. Needless to say, I don’t even begin to use most of those regularly. If you limit yourself to only pack two shades of lipstick (one for the day and one for the night), you won’t feel blinded by indecision. Really, how many shades can you use in one day? Is there something you constantly over-pack but could do without? This simplifies your bag and frees up mental capacity to focus on what’s important; which museum will you check out next?

3—Be realistic. Do you notice any trends in your packing habits that just aren’t working? Maybe you’re the kind of person who packs three books for a road trip and ends up touching none of them. Despite your dreams of being engrossed in a novel on a beach, it may be time to set realistic expectations for yourself. You’re off exploring somewhere new! No one expects you to stay put and read if you’d rather try out surfing. By ditching the book, or any other unrealistic ambition, you’re freeing yourself from the guilt of ignoring your unneeded baggage (physical or not).

Another thing about minimalism—don’t get weighed down trying to comply with a long list of rules! Live the way that makes the most sense for you, and enjoy your travels.

Do you have any special packing tips to lighten up your load? Let me know in the comments!

A Walk Through Venice

I cannot believe that I can finally cross Venice, Italy off my bucket list! It is one of the many places that I have dreamt of visiting. I absolutely love the atmosphere in Venice with the beautiful buildings, the delicious handmade food, and the cute shops. I will add that it was very hot and humid in Venice which made having gelato a must. But hey, I am not complaining. Since we were in Venice for only two nights; we attempted a walk through Venice.

We began this day on the beautiful island of Burano which is known for the colorful houses. My favorite memory from Burano was having gelato with the whole family while sitting on a ledge that led you into the water. After exploring Burano, we took a water taxi back to Saint Mark’s Square to enjoy some fine homemade pasta. The taste of fresh pasta was unreal; I could eat that for the rest of my life and not complain. Now, we reached my favorite part of the evening: the gondolas. After seeing countless pictures and movies, getting on a gondola was a must. We rode the gondolas at sunset and I believe it is the perfect time because the temperature gets slightly cooler and the views mixed with the sunset are so beautiful.

Because I love Italy, my look for this summer day was inspired by the gondola drivers who wear red and white striped shirts. This striped ruffle sleeve top fit perfectly with my aesthetic and was light and airy for this hot day. I kept it basic with my bottoms and wore a pair of black leggings. I love this minimalistic yet trendy outfit because even though it was humid, the cotton material helped me stay dry without feeling icky.

When traveling, I like to focus more on the outfit and keep it simple for shoes. I usually bring a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of sandals as my choice of footwear. Although both options seemed fitting for this look, on this day I decided to wear my Birkenstocks in the Arizona style. And for my favorite part of any outfit: the accessories. I wore a burgundy backpack to complement with my top. This backpack is suitable for traveling because you have the option to wear it as one or two straps. For jewelry, I decided on a gold bracelet, a black studded ring, my favorite rose gold watch, and you cannot forget your trusty sunglasses!

What are your summer outfit inspirations? Comment below and don’t forget to tag us on social media @CFashionista!

How to Visit Venice Like a Local

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to travel to Venice with my boyfriend. We spent a full day on the island taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Venetian paradise. As descendants of Italians ourselves, we tried our best to immerse ourselves in the culture. Doing this meant avoiding the so-called “tourist traps” in favor of lesser-known attractions.

If you are planning a trip to Venice and wish to shy away from tourist areas, look no further. Here are my tips for visiting Venice like a local.

1—Eat (and drink) as the Venetians do. When in Italy, it can be tempting to opt for the classics: pizza and pasta. However, Venice has a few classics of its own. For a true taste of Venice, try a plate of Cicchetti. Cicchetti is similar to tapas in that they are small, snack-sized portions of food. Venetian Cicchetti often contains seafood, bread, and different types of cheese. These small bites are great options for any meal, especially because they are often less than 2 Euro each.

Additionally, if you want to drink like a local, you can’t go wrong with wine. If fruity drinks are more your flavor, sip on another Venetian classic: the Bellini. A Bellini is a refreshing, summery drink made of peach juice and prosecco. Saluti!

2—Skip the gondola ride. I get it—cruising down the canals in a gondola, listening to Italian songs sung by a gondolier, it sounds like something out of a dream. However, the price tag on a gondola ride will quickly bring you back to reality. A half hour ride can cost you upwards of 80 Euro! If you really want to see Venice from the water, take a ride on a vaporetto, or waterbus. Each ride only costs a few Euro, and they’ll quickly connect you to other places on the island!

4—Speak Italian. When in a tourist area, it can be tempting to use English. The idea of speaking in a foreign language may seem daunting at first, but even just learning a few phrases can make your experience that much more authentic. Before my trip to Venice, my boyfriend and I made a notecard full of helpful phrases, such as how to order and say please and thank you. Don’t worry about pronunciation. The locals are just happy to know that you’re trying.

5—Dress like an Italian. In Venice, you might get weird looks for wearing a midriff baring crop top with booty shorts and flip flops. If you want to blend in with the locals, opt for a fashionable, yet conservative look. When I was in Venice, I wore a white chiffon blouse from Forever 21, a patterned skirt from J. Crew, and black sandals from Forever 21.

Final Tip

Finally, if you really want to experience Venice, don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path. Zig-zag through empty alleyways, climb over quiet bridges, and see the magic of Venice the way it was meant to be seen.

Have you been to Venice? Share your pictures on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.