8 Ways To Get Excited (And Educated) For Your Next Trip

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Your typical list of things to do before your trip might look like the following:

  • apply for visa
  • research the weather for duration of trip
  • make a list of "must-do" activities
  • PACK
  • check-in online and double check boarding passes/tickets and reservations
  • tidy up the house
  • contact family and friends with itinerary 

Ah, yes, the to-do list before jetting off on your next trip can seem very daunting. However, for many years I've found that the anticipation before going on an exciting journey... that buzzy, flighty feeling that comes in between when you book your flights and touching down on foreign soil was something to savor. That sweet spot in between checking off the necessities and the day before takeoff is GOLD to me. It's during this time that I find myself longing to amplify my excitement and knowledge about our next big adventure. Does anybody else do this? It cracks me up when Luke tells me that before he studied abroad in Rome, he never even knew what the city looked like! Like... what?! I'm a big advocate for entering foreign places with a sense of curiosity, but man... not that much!

Having some previous knowledge about the rich history, cultural and culinary traditions is an excellent way to connect with locals, and also approach our adventures with a sense of humility and appreciation. Not to mention, sometimes, the best part about getting ready for your trip is getting oh so excited for it. Here are eight simple ways to build your anticipation a little more and boost your knowledge along the way before you hop on that big jet plane!

8 Ways To Get Excited (And Educated) For Your Next Trip | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY

WATCH A MOVIE OR TELEVISION SHOW FROM YOUR DESTINATION

Nothing gets me quite in the mood for adventure than watching a movie set in a foreign place. Seeing the streets of London set in the Victorian age, or the jungles of Thailand, or the trials and tribulations of the American West through a compelling storyline brings out the best of my wanderlust. I'm partial to turning on "Midnight In Paris" and "Roman Holiday" when I'm feeling nostalgic!

Hearing the dialect, getting swept up in dreamy settings, seeing the manner of dress and cultural expectations gives you a bit of insight on how your adventures might pan out. And not only do you get to see the nuances of the location, but you might also get to learn a thing or two about the history and culture. Choose a movie set in your destination, or research some that are considered to be "classics." A quick Google search will bring up lots of recommendations! 

RESEARCH LITERARY "MUST-READS"

There's something about reading a great book set in a fantastic setting that brings us closer to the heart of the history and culture of where we're about to jet off to. Just try to not feel excited about a trip to the English countryside after reading Pride & Prejudice! The same goes for Dracula and Romania, The Good Earth and China, On The Road and the American West... and so much more. 

Do some research and look up classic literature set in your next destination. Nothing will make you feel more swept away and buzzing with excitement! 

GAIN SOME HISTORICAL CONTEXT

Visiting a museum or watching a historical documentary might not seem like a must-do before you set off on an adventure abroad, but doing so certainly ensures that you can enter your destination more informed and with a sense of respect and admiration. Although it's impossible to learn everything about the nuances and intricacies of a place's history, taking an hour or two to gain some insight goes a long way. I loved learning all about Japanese history through quick Youtube videos before our trip a few years ago. I now find myself looking through historical books and documentaries on my next destination because it simply deepens my relationship and understanding to the area and its people! 

8 Ways To Get Excited (And Educated) For Your Next Trip | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY

TALK TO A LOCAL WITH SOME PERSONAL TIES TO YOUR DESTINATION

This one is the ultimate. Connect with a local, either in person or online. Ask, ask, ask. Hear their stories. Hear their recommendations. Hear the thrill in their voice as they explain something unique or not-to-be-missed. Guaranteed excitement overload! 

MAKE AN INSTAGRAM "SAVED" LIST OR PINTEREST BOARD

The best way to save information is either through Pinterest (check out my Travel board, if you're curious!) or through saving geotagged locations on Instagram with their "save" feature. Anytime I see a gorgeous photo, I take a second and save it for future use. That way, when it comes time to planning a trip, I have a plethora of locations, hotels, restaurants and images to get inspired from. I can't tell you how often I find myself referring to this list when it comes time to plan a trip.

Don't forget to follow as many 'grammers that focus on your destination of choice! A quick search (either under the related Instagrammer channels tab or by searching through geotagged locations themselves) should come up with a ton of people to follow. 

ASK YOUR COMMUNITY 

You know what they said, there's no harm in asking! You never know what someone in your own community has to offer up. I like to ask for recommendations on Facebook to my friends, throw a question on Instagram stories for any followers to share insight, as well as ask questions on private groups I'm a part of (like Girls Love Travel). I'm always pleasantly surprised at the responses! 

8 Ways To Get Excited (And Educated) For Your Next Trip | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY

COOK A TRADITIONAL MEAL OR GATHER SOME KEY INGREDIENTS BEFORE DEPARTING

The way to girl's heart is through her stomach. And the same goes for girls who travel. Perhaps there is no more intimate way to learn more about a place than through experiencing the act of cooking its food. Getting our hands dirty and deep into the ritualized steps of making traditional meals. Smelling the aromas of each ingredient combining step by step. The joy of making things together. Taste testing. Savoring each bite. It brings us closer to far away places. 

So, look up a traditional meal and get busy in the kitchen!

DOWNLOAD SOME TOP HITS FROM YOUR DESTINATION

Stocking up on music is my favorite way to get swept up in the romance of a place. Discover some of the top hits and classics of a destination is a double whammy. You get hours of entertainment to enjoy on the plane, on public transportation, while getting dressed, etc. while also getting a dose of culture. Win-win, right?

8 Ways To Get Excited (And Educated) For Your Next Trip | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY
8 Ways To Get Excited (And Educated) For Your Next Trip | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY
8 Ways To Get Excited (And Educated) For Your Next Trip | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY

When it comes time to make your next "to-do" list before jetting off on a big, bold adventure... don't forget to add some of these ideas to it! You'll be gaining some excellent background history to feel even closer to the countries you're visiting AND getting yourself even more amped for the big day you hop on a plane! 

What are some ways you get yourself excited for your adventures?

7 Spring Trends That Are Perfect For Travelers

In the whirlwind of spring trends and this season's "it items," a girl who longs to invest in pieces that can travel the world with her can really get lost. Women who straddle the line between real life and real travel, back me up on this! Finding clothes, shoes and accessories that work for multiple climates, transition seamlessly between varying activities, pack well and also are current with what's fresh and beautiful now... that my friend, can be a serious challenge! 

With a keen and discerning eye on what's trending, I've gathered seven of my favorite spring/summer trends that can elevate your style while also being one hundred percent packable, wearable and polished while you explore the world. Prep your packing cubes!

7 Spring Trends That Are Perfect For Travelers | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY
7 Spring Trends That Are Perfect For Travelers | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY

Jumpsuits & Rompers

A whole outfit in one piece, which equals less packing and more on style! Perhaps one of my favorite things about jumpsuits and rompers is that they're one of those outfits you just don't have to think about. Add a dainty necklace before dinner and evenings on the town or pop on some sneakers while you sightsee... it can do it all.

Mules & Blocked Heels

Cobblestone paths beware! Every traveler needs a dresser shoe option, and the spring/summer trend elevating our height while packing a updated punch in the style department is without a doubt a chunky heel. While squeezing your shoe options in your carry on, keep this one on your docket. Comfortable, cool and can handle those pesky (yet beautiful!) European cobble stone paths. 

7 Spring Trends That Are Perfect For Travelers | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY
7 Spring Trends That Are Perfect For Travelers | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY

Mini Satchels

Ladies... am I right on this? The tinier, the better when it comes to packing. Choose to tote around just the essentials by bringing a mini satchel instead of your typical cross body bag. Travel light while looking easy, breezy!

Off The Shoulder Shirts & Dresses

One of our favorite spring trends... say hello to the roomy, breathable piece you can always go for no matter what activity you find yourself in! With this look, travelers can straddle the line of polished and effortless all while avoiding those pesky tan lines that come with being out and about all day. 

I love wearing my ThirdLove's strapless bra Thirdlove strapless bra for this one! Not only does it actually stay put (which is a HUGE plus for those of you who've struggled with other strapless options like me), but it also has adjustable straps that can be added for any type of shirt or dress you've packed for your days adventuring. Comfort is number one when it comes to traveling... and this bad boy meets the mark. Plus, knowing that it can effortlessly transition between strapless, racerback and any other type of top I might pack adds an additional perk too. Love it? Be sure to get yourself 10% off by using TLSPRING10 at check out. Thank me later, ladies!

7 Spring Trends That Are Perfect For Travelers | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY
7 Spring Trends That Are Perfect For Travelers | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY
7 Spring Trends That Are Perfect For Travelers | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY

Culottes

Adding a little bit of flair to your day-to-day tourist trips, culottes combine the comfort of pajamas with the look of a polished skirt. I'm looking forward to popping these on and avoiding the dreaded chaffing of my thighs when I wear a skirt! 

7 Spring Trends That Are Perfect For Travelers | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY
7 Spring Trends That Are Perfect For Travelers | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY
7 Spring Trends That Are Perfect For Travelers | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY

Midi Dresses 

Conservative yet airy, midi dresses are all the rage and work incredibly well for adventurers. For those of you who've traveled abroad, you know that it's much safer to dress conservatively on your day to day basis... especially since us Americans have stereotypically gotten scolded for dressing too provocatively. Look like a goddess while remaining covered, professional and ready for a jaunt to a memorial, place of worship or gallery! 

Athleisure 

By far the BEST trend for travelers. Nothing like looking like a model off-duty while also staying comfortable and sometimes even in water-wicking fabrics! I fully intend on rocking my athleisure pieces in the airport. Why be uncomfortable for a long flight, right? So put on your athletic shoes, a bomber or your favorite workout top this season. It's an excuse to be comfy, ready for anything and trendy! 

7 Spring Trends That Are Perfect For Travelers | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY

Lady adventurers, we have probably the toughest time when it comes to shopping. Here's to finding the joy in dressing with vivacity while remaining true to what's wearable, transitional and downright comfortable. We know that all most pieces should be worn multiple times for multiple reasons... so enjoy our favorites, why don't ya! 

Do you shop with your travels in mind? What are your go-to pieces you love to pack?


Why I'm Pledging To Shop Small This Christmas & Some Of My Favorite Local Finds

Why I'm Pledging To Shop Small This Christmas & Some Of My Favorite Local Finds

The holiday hustle is nearly here. Do you feel it? With the family gatherings, dinner parties and catching up with friends galore, I'm totally get swept up in the extreme amount of socializing, shmoozing and the occasional boozing too! The panic of the holidays hasn't quite settled in yet, and the dooming list of Christmas gifts to buy is definitely on my back burner.

The desire to curate the perfect gifts for friends is family is one I know well. I always joke that gifting might be my form of therapy! And with the insane amount of ease that comes with shopping online, creating wish lists on Pinterest and Buzzfeed articles focused on making buying that much more mindless, the consumerism is REAL this time of year. 

However, this year, I've become hyper-aware of exactly how and what I am investing in with every purchase I'm making. With the push to adventure locally and to invest in the creative pursuits and passions of local artists, this year I'm shopping small on Small Business Saturday. Created by American Express in an effort to encourage buyers to shop in their own communities (instead of megastores and billion dollar corporations), this national holiday is something that aligns perfectly with what we believe here at Roam + Golightly. And that's why when my friends at Fundera asked me to pledge to support local businesses, I emphatically agreed to.

Why I'm Pledging To Shop Small This Christmas & Some Of My Favorite Local Finds

Small Business Saturday comes the day after Black Friday, and I would insist that no deal, no clearance rack or free shipping could ever compare to the feeling of investing in local economy and our business owners who live next door. When we're buying from our neighborhood retailers, we're investing in their passions. We're finding absolutely gorgeous and unique gifts that are one of a kind and are sure to wow the recipients of our boxed and bowed gifts. Plus, I can vouch and say that there's nothing better than explaining how special a piece is when its made by someone in town!

But even more importantly than the glamour and chic-ness of it all, we're investing in the livelihood of the makers and doers of our local areas. We're building relationships with our community members. So ask questions when you shop! Seek interest in their goods, but also in their process, their mission and their hopes for their business's future. Doing so forms strong connections (and awesome customer service for the future) and adds stability within our own community. 

Speaking of community, Fundera's requested that I share some of my personal favorite local finds to share with you all today. So, here are just some of my favorite small business finds in Lancaster! 

LIZ RIDEN CO.

Lancaster does an incredible job with opening fun, small shops in their pop up park on Prince Street... and this winter I'm looking forward to supporting my friend Liz in her store! Liz has curated the most adorable store with handmade items. Liz has INCREDIBLE taste and her store features her favorite local jewelry, scarves, pillows, soaps, stationary, candles, watercolor prints, fresh wreaths, and her own full collection of leather goods! I'm obsessed.

ELLICOTT & CO.

If craftsmanship was ever celebrated more in our city, I don't know where it would be! Elliott & Co. sells handmade goods from belts and wallets, chocolates and sweets, and shampoos and pendants that I'm currently craving to have in our apartment. Ladies, if you're wondering what to buy your husband or boyfriend... go here! It's so rustic and authentic. Even more special, Elliot & Co. believes in building a platform for Lancaster makers and thinkers to launch and expand their businesses within their own doors.

WHISTLE & PINE

Before we moved into Lancaster last year, I just so happened to stumble into Whistle & Pine (at the pop up park on Prince Street again!) and was hooked. Curator Marissa Albrecht sells beautiful quarterly magazines that are independently made, handcrafted minimalist jewelry, candles, home decor and more. I'm hoping to see her shop again this year at the pop up park! Buh-bye wallet!

PASSENGER COFFEE

You guessed it guys, I HAD to include my favorite Lancaster coffee roasters in this round up. If you haven't heard of Passenger, it's basically plastered all over our website, blog and Instagram page... because I love the storefront's look so much and because I believe in the quality products they sell. In a pinch, you better believe I'll be buying some beans and a cute little coffee cup! Who doesn't love a little punch of caffeine for a cute gift idea? Plus, it feels good to buy from such an amazing local company!


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Want to take the pledge with me this Saturday and promise to shop small? I'd love to hear your local favorites or Etsy shops you source to support local businesses!