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!

My South African Escapade—From Johannesburg to Cape Town to Kapama

When my parents said that we were going on a trip to South Africa, I didn’t actually think that we were going to jump on a plane to Cape Town, fly on a helicopter to Kapama, and visit our family in Johannesburg (Joburg) all in under 10 days. To say that this trip was the best experience of my life is an understatement. I got to take a selfie with a giraffe that was about 20 feet away from me while I was sitting in an open safari vehicle. I would say that our trip was a success.

After a tedious and painful 20-hour plane ride, we finally arrived in Joburg. Here, we got to visit my family and explore the downtown area, which has superb food. Out of all of the restaurants we went to, my favorite food “stop” was a cute little juice bar called Bliss Juicery. The kindheartedness of Bliss’s employees, it’s interesting smoothie flavors, and it’s location truly made it the most unique juice bar I have ever been to. Because this is a post for CollegeFashionista, I must mention the cute hat that my uncle gave me and my black leather jacket. The hat was an authentic Greek fisherman’s cap, but you would probably recognize it as a sibling of the Brixton fiddler cap which is gaining much popularity here in the US.

After a few days in Joburg, we hopped on a plane to Cape Town! Cape Town is currently my favorite place in the world. It is basically a conglomerate of breathtaking mountains, a turquoise blue ocean, and a city full of life. What more can you ask for? The first highlight of this little trip was staying at the Waterfront Apartments. My aunt decided to rent us a penthouse suite that overlooked the beautiful Table Moutain. The second highlight of Cape Town was visiting Simon’s Town where we got to see baby penguins and observe the breathtaking ocean and views of the mountain. My third highlight was going to Truth Coffee. It followed a Steampunk aesthetic, and every one of its employees wore vintage, high-quality Steampunk attire from actual Steampunk goggles to hand-sewn leather-lined formal blazers.

Three days later, we hopped on a helicopter which took us from Nelspruit to Kapama where we got to stay in private little safari huts. We stayed at Kapama for two days and went on a total of four safaris—two sunrise and two sunset safaris. We got to see three of the five big five: the lion, elephant, and rhino. One of my favorite parts of the reserve was the breathtaking infinity pool that was completely open to the wild. When we were swimming, four nyalas came up to us and drank some water out of the pool. Kapama was definitely the highlight of my trip!

Where have you Fashionistas traveled this summer, and what was your favorite part of the trip? Let us know in the comments below. 

Top Travel Tips for Paris Exploration

Traveling to the charming city of Paris sounds like a dream until you come back from your trip and realize how much more you wanted to do while you were there. Remember that you will only have so much time in this city and will want to take advantage of every opportunity you can to explore sites and be a typical tourist. However, also remember traveling should be fun and relaxing, not stressful. Do not try to squeeze all sightseeing into one day just to take a picture and say you have been there. Take the time to enjoy everything this beautiful city has to offer.

Appreciate the aspects of culture that surround you and make the best effort to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. It will make Parisians appreciate that you took the time to speak their language, follow their culture, or eat their food in their country. Paris is known for having fresh everything. The fresher the better. Take a minute to smell the fresh cut flowers, breathe in the fresh air, and grab a bite at some of the most authentic French restaurants. Food is a large part of the Parisian lifestyle. Cheese, wine, and bread are an important part of a daily French diet. They may seem like heavy foods, but consuming in moderation is key.

Enjoy the architecture. It is not everywhere that you will find stunning medieval and renaissance architecture on every other street. Be sure to visit the Louvre Museum and Chartres Cathedral to see some examples of these artistic styles. There are plenty of large buildings with historical significance, but also pay attention to the detail of lovely miniature homes that house French families. Go on a boat ride at night through the Seine River and get a magnificent view of multiple sites in Paris. Don’t forget to grab your camera to capture some amazing shots!

Most importantly, travel to make memories! Make Paris everything you wanted it to be by enjoying yourself and who you’re with. Nothing is worse than coming back from a trip feeling unhappy about your time there.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other recommendations or advice for traveling to Paris!

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.



These Are the Top 8 Sweet Treats You Can Enjoy at Walt Disney World

Orlando Florida’s Walt Disney World is a magical destination. While you’re exploring the parks, you’ll be overwhelmed with the amount of scrumptious snacks to choose from. To help your Disney experience be the most magical, here are the top eight treats you can find at the Disney Parks. Let’s count down to the very best treat you can munch and crunch on!

8—Disney Lollipops.

Lollipops with a variety of characters are available at all parks in flavors like cherry, orange, grape, raspberry, watermelon, and original. The multi-color candy inspired my outfit. A pinstriped skirt, a sugar skull Darth Vader shirt, Vans high-top shoes and fluffy pastel earrings are perfect for a trip to the confectionery.

7—Main Street Popcorn.

Popcorn is a classic staple at Walt Disney’s Main Street. You can buy it fresh or prepackaged with a plethora of flavors, such as caramel, kettle corn, cheddar, confetti, sriracha kettle corn, parmesan garlic, red alaea salt kettle corn, truffle, churro, and a new Disney guest’s favorite: maple bacon. If you are staying in a Disney Resort Hotel, you can enjoy Disney popcorn in the comfort of your room with the Pop Down Mainstreet Gift Basket for $40.

6—Mickey Rice Treat.

Rice treats are in the shape of Mickey’s head and measure a whopping 8 inches. They are available plain or with chocolate and decorations depending on the season. The buttery crunch of this treat will satisfy a crowd.

5—The Frozen Night Blossom.

This new nonalcoholic drink only available at Animal Kingdom in the new Avatarland is a mix of limeade combined with apple and desert pear flavors finished off with passionfruit boba. This drink is super refreshing and sour. It tastes like the Unicorn Frappuchino which debuted April 2017 at Starbucks.

4—Frozen Banana.

This is my personal favorite treat for beating the heat. Diced nuts and a chocolate layer over a frozen banana is surprisingly delicious.

3—Anna’s Birthday Cupcake.

This cupcake is sweet, huge, and covered in edible glitter! What’s more magical than that? This birthday cupcake can only be found at Epcot at Norway.

2—Specialty Candy Apples.

Caramel apples can be found at all Disney Parks in a variety of styles. Apples are covered in candy favorites, caramel, chocolate, nuts, rice cereal, marshmallows and cookies. This delicious Minnie Mouse apple is packed with chocolate and caramel goodness. At Goofy’s Candy Company at Disney Springs, you can even create a customized apple. Apples are available at anytime of the year decorated as Disney characters and holiday themes. The flavors are amazing including sour, sweet, salty, and decadent. Biting into one of these will fulfill your sweet tooth cravings.

1—Gaston’s Tavern Cinnamon Rolls.

Gaston’s Tavern at Disney’s Magic Kingdom has, dare I say it, the best cinnamon rolls in the world. With a hint of maple flavoring, these $4 rolls will blow you away. Pro tip: Try the Lefou’s Brew and a chocolate croissant. They really hit the spot!

Tried one of these treats? Let us know what you think by tagging @CFashionista on social media!

Seville Uncovered—Spain’s Hidden Gem of a City

Seville. When I told people I was traveling there, many responded with “Where is that?” or “Why there?” Truth be told, my friends and I picked Seville because it happened to be the cheapest flight from Paris, where we were studying abroad, out of literally anywhere.

I’ve traveled all over Europe, but I have to say Seville ended up being one of my favorite cities. It’s a small, sunny city in Southern Spain, but believe me when I say it’s a fabulous travel spot. Even better, Seville has to be one of the most Instagrammable places I’ve traveled to.

One of Seville’s best attractions is a gorgeous, sprawling, 14th-century castle named Royal Alcazar de Seville. The castle itself is stunning, with colorful tile, ivy, and fountains everywhere. In addition to the castle, the gardens surrounding it are equally as picture perfect. We wandered around for hours and it made for a fantastic photo shoot. Game of Thrones filmed a few episodes there because of the unique Moorish architecture, this photo was actually snapped right in front of where Game of Thrones filmed!

Plaza de España is another necessary sight in Seville. It’s about a 20-minute walk from Alcazar and the city center but definitely worth it. Cute cafes looking out over the plaza serve coffee and an assortment of breads, jams, and cheeses for around four euros. After you’re done snacking I suggest heading over to the plaza and renting a rowboat, or just stroll around and admire the plaza’s elaborate design.

Seville’s restaurant scene is another plus. My friends and I ate so well our entire trip! The city has dozens of adorable, hole in the wall type places. I’m a vegetarian and my friend Molly is a vegan, and we were able to find many amazing plant-friendly options. Our last night, we went to a great authentic Cuban place before going to see a flamenco show at the Museo de Baile Flamenco, the only flamenco dance museum in the world.

But the best thing about Seville has to be the city itself. It’s constantly alive, people are always out and about; eating, drinking, laughing, dancing. The beautiful architecture of the old Spanish buildings and the meandering back alleyways define the city. If you’re planning a trip to Spain anytime soon, you must add Seville to your list.

Been to any other underrated cities? Share with me in the comments below!

How to Make the Most Out of Your Beach Day

As soon as August 1 greets us, we are hit with the stunning realization that summer is approaching its end. With just a matter of weeks left until we return to the daily grind of classes and responsibility, we find ourselves desperately reaching out to grab onto any last bit of summer we can.

My personal way of dealing with this is by spending countless hours at the beach. There is no better way to soak up the last days of summer than with the sound of the ocean and the feeling of warm sand on your feet. There are a few simple ways to get the most out of your beach day, and the most out of what’s left of your summer.

1—Create the perfect playlist. Indie, EDM, country—it doesn’t matter what your taste is. Music can completely change the vibe of your beach day. I know that when I have a good playlist on the beach, I could sit there forever and ever just listening. Make sure you have plenty of songs and a great speaker!

2—Find a great bathing suit. Bathing suit shopping can be one of the most fun parts about summer; there are so many different styles for different people! It’s a great way to express your personality, whether you are retro, boho, or minimalistic. For the beach, I like to find simple one-pieces that will withstand the force of the waves and keep me comfortable.

3—Bring a book. Since the school year is such a busy time, it’s extremely difficult to find time to read for pleasure. The beach is the perfect place to do that. You can re-read an old favorite like Harry Potter, or take the time to read a career advice book; the possibilities are endless. Grab the perfect book (or multiple books, if you’re like me and fly through them), stick it in your beach bag, and go!

4—Wear a breezy cover-up. For a beach day, a flowy dress or coverup is very important. It’s best to have something easy to pull on and off throughout the day and something that is light and airy in the heat. A simple spaghetti strap dress will work perfectly all day long, from the time you first arrive in the morning to the evening sunset.

There are still so many things that can be done at the beach, which is why it is one of the best ways to spend your August days. If you can make the most of your beach days, maybe you can make the end of summer worthwhile before the days start getting cooler and shorter.

What are your beach day essentials? Share a picture on Instagram and don’t forget to tag @CFashionista!

A First Timer’s Guide to Arizona

Recently, I took my first trip to Arizona! My family and I went for our annual summer vacation. I love visiting the West Coast, it holds such a different vibe from the Midwest! Traveling to anywhere with palm trees is a big deal for us Hoosiers (natives of Indiana). Although the daily temperatures were over 100 degrees, the dry heat is a lot more comfortable than the humidity I’m used to! The weather was perfect for crop tops, distressed denim shorts, and some oversize sunglasses.

To start off our vacation, we headed to Sedona to stay for a few days. Sedona was beautiful! Our resort was surrounded by the red rock mountains which was the perfect scenery from my room’s balcony. During one of our days in Sedona, we drove to Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona. This is a canyon located on Navajo land, it’s listed as one of the top 25 places to see in the world. I highly recommend visiting this canyon, it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed! We took a tour in the lower canyon where we walked through the canyon for about 45 minutes and got to take awesome pictures. The tour guide was even showing us spots to snap the perfect pictures to really express the canyon’s beauty.

After we left Antelope Canyon, we then drove to the Grand Canyon National Park. Being able to visit the Grand Canyon was also amazing! It was so much more than I expected. There were some awesome look out spots we went to in the park. The canyon was absolutely beautiful. I also highly recommend visiting the Grand Canyon, I think it’s something everyone should be able to see in their lifetime.

After a few days in Sedona, we drove back to Scottsdale and stayed there for the remaining days of our trip. I absolutely adored Scottsdale! We stayed at a hotel called The Saguaro. It’s decorated with bright, neon colors and has a modern, youthful feel to it. It’s walking distance from Old Town Scottsdale with a bunch of shops and restaurants. Also, it’s close to the Scottsdale Fashion Square which is perfect for any Fashionista! There was also perfect palm trees and cacti surrounding the hotel for photo ops! The pool at The Saguaro is a must, also decorated with bright colored umbrellas and chairs. Laying by the pool, eating some good food and taking in the sun was the perfect end to my Arizona trip!

For this born and raised Indiana girl, Arizona was everything I expected and more! I think it’s the perfect trip for anyone looking to see some amazing sights but also lay by the pool and enjoy the beautiful weather.

What are your favorite spots in Arizona? Leave a comment below!

A Guide to a Not So Typical Tourist Stay in Madrid

Madrid is one of the most beautiful destinations in all of Spain. Since my family lives here, I have visited a couple of times and already seen all the tourist destinations. However, this time I convinced myself to actually explore and discover more of what Madrid has to offer, rather than just staying home or walking the same route to work. Here are five not so typical tourist things to do in Madrid.

1—Theater. I have always loved to go to the theater, so why not go to one in Spain? The play I saw was called Prefiero Que Seamos Amigos, which consisted of two friends who had a quirky and funny way of demonstrating their love for each other. It was a romantic comedy that kept the audience (well, me at least) very entertained all throughout. If you’re ever in Madrid, I highly recommend going to the theater!

2—Wine and dine. Instead of going to famous restaurants, I decided to explore different areas and go to local places that aren’t as popular or well-known. One of my absolute favorites was called Juana La Loca. Not only was the food absolutely divine, but the service and atmosphere were great.

3—Yoga at Debod Temple. I heard about yoga classes being taught at the Debod Temple, and of course, I could not resist signing up. What better way to immerse yourself in the Spanish culture than to sweat it out in front of a historical landmark? Plus, it was such a refreshing way to de-stress from a hard day at the office.

4—New Streets. During my time in Madrid, I was accustomed to the same route every day, so I decided to get lost and see where the streets would take me. Much to my surprise, I discovered so many streets with beautiful scenery that I had never seen before. There were so many small family-owned stores, fruit stands, flower shops, graffiti walls, and more!  Every single street had a different story to tell, and I couldn’t wait to continue exploring. My advice? Get lost, wander around! You’ll be amazed by what you might discover.

5—Nightlife. Like every 20-year-old, I decided to go out and enjoy the Spanish nightlife. We started the night at a small Spanish bar called Leka Leka famously known for their mojitos. The place was full of youngsters in their twenties, and it has a very relaxed vibe. My friend and I decided to continue the night at a rooftop bar called Tartán, which is located in the center of Madrid. It has the most amazing view, and it was the perfect end to my amazing week.

Have you ever been to Madrid before? Do you have any suggestions of other things to do? Let me know in the comments below!

3 Ways to Have Fun This Summer

Summer is finally here. Having the opportunity to chill at home while doing nothing but watching TV and snacking feels like heaven. However, after a few days, these lazy habits start to feel like old news. You start to feel like you have enough energy to conquer the world. Whenever I feel this way, I make a list of activities to fill up my summer days and try to cross one off each day. Check out these three summer activities:

1—Write your anxiety away. Taking the time to write down your thoughts can make you feel good. We always have so much going in our head, so many thoughts invading our mind, that having a place to dump them feels like a relief. Journaling is a great way to get all of the bad thoughts out of the way and leave some room for good thoughts and ideas. There is no limit to what you can write or how often you can do this exercise. Just choose a cute notebook, a nice pen, and start writing. My favorite thing to do is to re-read what I wrote a few days earlier just to have some perspective and get a better view of what was going on back then.  

2—Set yourself up for an adventure. One of my favorite things to do when the sun starts peeking out from behind the clouds is bike. Biking is a great opportunity to explore your city and discover magical hidden spots you’ve never been to before. I can’t count the times where I grabbed my bike and a backpack and went out for a quick bike ride but ended up getting lost. That is when the adventure starts. You will always find yourself in a place you have been before but never really took the time to explore. Riding a bike gives you a completely different perspective and makes you start appreciating the beauty of the space around you. Sometimes you get the chance to witness some beautiful sunsets in the most picturesque settings.

3—Be a chef in your own kitchen. In a weird way, summer makes me feel more creative and more open to new opportunities/activities. Taking the time to go through a cookbook and try out a new recipe is one of those summer activities.

I love how cooking is such a sensory experience; every single sense is stimulated. The chopping, the sizzling, the smells… It is definitely the most exciting part about cooking. Of course, being able to devour your meal right after is not that bad of a part either. Come on! Put some music on and get to it!


What are your favorite activities to do in the summer? Let us know by commenting down below and tag @CFashionista in your photos on social media!