Travel Resources For The Home Essentialist

In honor of the beginning of summer travel, as well as my current trip to EntreLeadership Summit with my husband, here is a refresher on some of my top travel resources for the Home Essentialist.

Travel Resources For The Home Essentialist

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Find out why we make it a priority to travel together and why your role is important to success!

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Viewing business travel as an investment in your family’s success makes all the difference!

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Use Siri reminders to help you remember what to pack and what time to check in to your flight.

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There is no better airline for traveling with kids than Southwest. Here’s your step by step plan.

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Traveling to a big city? Amazon Prime Now can deliver to your hotel or travel location just as easily as your home.

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What could be better than having your groceries delivered to your vacation rental?

























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Join The Conversation: What other travel resources do you have questions about? Any special travel tips you could share? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Have You Tried Amazon Prime Now?

A Review Of The FREE, Local, 2-Hour Delivery Service

I have a confession. Front porch deliveries are my jam, and Amazon Prime Now is no exception. I cannot tell you how many times, even just 2 or 3 years ago, I would be at home sick with babies, or in the middle of a project, and wish that a little delivery fairy could bring me the one little component or ingredient that I needed. Somehow, it makes me feel like a future version of “Little House on the Prairie” and instead of having to go out and milk the cow, the cow just brings the milk in a jug to my doorstep! It’s like my very own daydream of being a Jetson. (I think I need to introduce my children to that cartoon.)

Anyways, as I was saying, front porch deliveries are my new thing. (I still love Shipt by the way.) I’ve figured out that for a couple of bucks in a tip, I can save gas, time, traffic stress, and do a lot less of wrangling children into the car, when I take advantage of all of these wonderful services that are now available. Now, we happen to live in a pretty prime zip code for a lot of these things, and I know not all of you are quite so happy about the deliveries available to your zip code. Don’t lose heart, they are coming for you! (unless you really do live in a modern day Little House on the Prairie…but then I imagine that you actually like that you are out in the middle of nowhere. I want to be you someday, too.)

Before I tell you about my new favorite front porch delivery, there are two minor details we need to settle.

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Traveling With An Infant On Southwest Airlines

Tips To Make Air Travel With Your Baby A Success

So, you’re a new parent and freaking out about traveling with an infant for the very first time. Or, have you had a few ‘mishaps’ on recent trips and are looking for some better ways of making air travel with your baby a success? You know that you will probably over pack, lose some sleep, and get out of the sacred routine that you have worked so hard on, but you know the day has come when you must attempt air travel with your precious cargo.

If you have had the opportunity to travel more than a handful of times, you know that it is not always the easiest endeavor, especially with kids. Travel teaches you all sorts of things: patience, flexibility, quick decision making, patience, communication and negotiation skills, packing skills, and patience.  Throw in some kids in the mix and you get to learn of a whole new level of, you guessed it, patience.  Don’t get me wrong, travel is exciting, full of adventure, and an education in and of itself.  However, without the right knowledge or skills, it can quickly turn into a disaster.

I have also noticed that many parents really fear traveling with their kids and hold off on flying out of fear of the unknown. And many, many times, the first flight goes off without a hitch, and the weeks of anxiety are just not worth it.

We have had the extraordinary privilege of taking our kids on lots of airplane adventures.  It did not take us long to make Southwest Airlines our exclusive airline of choice for traveling with an infant and kids. Their customer service, value of family, ‘transfarency’, open seating, and fleet of airplanes made this our one stop shop for air travel.  If Southwest does not fly to our destination, well, we just don’t go.  Actually, that’s not true.  But, it does make a significant impact on our decision making.

Here are my step by step tips for traveling with an infant on Southwest Airlines:

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Evernote For The Home Essentialist

Why Evernote Keeps My Life In Sync

I’m about to confess something to you. Lean in close. Don’t smile…this is serious.

I am a complete and total nerd.

There you have it. Shocking, really. I have disguised myself so that you don’t realize that at first, but I’m built for all things research, organization, and have strong feelings of affection towards efficiency. Nerd, right?

But, I have to let you in on a little secret that I discovered a few years ago. It’s an app called Evernote and it’s like Pinterest, your file cabinet, your brain, your photo album, your to-do list, your recipe box, and your planner all in one simple place. Seriously, you have to try this.

What is Evernote?

“Evernote makes modern life more manageable by letting you easily collect and find everything that matters. From work notes and to-do lists to recipe collections and travel plans, add everything to Evernote to help you get organized without the effort.” Continue Reading >>

Why I Travel With My Husband On Business Trips

5 Benefits Of Integrating Business Travel And Family (Part 2 of 2)

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the benefits of viewing business travel as a necessary investment in your family rather than a necessary evil.  Now, let’s discuss a method to ease it’s negative impact on our families.

Apart from strategic choices that limit business travel all together, one of the ways we have implemented this idea, is by thinking more holistically about our lives and integrating business travel and personal travel as much as possible.  We have made a choice to fly me or our whole family on my husband’s business trips on as many occasions as possible. This is purposeful, intentional and has required a lot of work and financial investment on our part. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it complicated to contend with the school calendar? Yes. Is it hard to leave the kids with a babysitter or family member or friend? Yes. Is it a logistical nightmare sometimes? Yes. Does it mean air travel with kids? Yes. Is it still worth it? YES. YES. YES.

Although your circumstances may be different from ours regarding the plausibility of traveling on business trips, the principles still apply and can be incorporated in your own life using a variety of means. Maybe it’s simply being more intentional with FaceTime, or creating some specific family rituals during business trips.  Whatever it is, make an effort to think more holistically about your life.

Here are 5 benefits of integrating business travel and family:

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Make Business Travel Work For Your Family

An Investment In Your Family's Success (Part 1 of 2)

About ten years ago, my husband began traveling several weekends out of the year for work. As a young couple without kids, business travel was an exciting opportunity for him.  The idea of seeing more of the world while providing for our family and gaining valuable experience along the way was definitely intriguing. Thankfully, he has worked for an incredible company that cares greatly for the well-being of its team members.  The trips he takes for business, are mostly fun, energizing, and vital for his effectiveness and the success of the company.  This does not mean that it is never grueling. 5:00 AM flights before a two hour time zone change, anyone? It can be exhausting, no matter how beautiful the place. It is still work, after all.

If business travel is apart of the job, we need to view it as a necessary investment in our family’s success rather than a necessary evil. The benefits of business travel usually have mostly to do with the success of the traveling spouse’s job, which then helps the family as a whole.  If not, why take the trip in the first place? It is far too easy to accept the benefits of employment, without appreciating the adversity it took to achieve those benefits. If we have chosen as a family to accept the job, we have chosen to accept it, in its entirety.  If that includes business travel, we need to incorporate it into our family life as a whole, as it doesn’t just affect the person that is traveling. It affects every member of the family and multiple days of family time.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not excusing workaholic tendencies or a lack of boundaries around personal time.  I am saying that we have a choice about the job. If we don’t like it or it requires too much time away from our family, we need to figure something else out.  Maybe it is simply having a conversation to discuss potential changes or placing some better boundaries around work and family. Whatever it is, we need to choose a proactive approach to our circumstances. Continue Reading >>

Cash In On This Innovative App

Exchange Money Quickly, Easily, and for FREE

I have to admit, I have never had a crush like this before. Warning, my geek side is on full display. Please don’t judge. My crush? It’s an APP! Yes, an app for your phone. I’m probably a little late to the party, but I have now discovered Square Cash. Cue the fireworks! This is different than “Square” that many businesses are using, and so much better and easier to use than Venmo or Paypal. I have been using Square Cash for just over 6 months, and it has easily become one of my top technology tools.

I must give some props to my husband who introduced it to me one night, as I kind of nodded and smiled and thought, “ok, that’s nice honey,” and went about my merry way. It just so happened that the next weekend, I was on a girls trip and we were all trying to split meals, and pay each other back for rental cars and the like. Enter Square Cash. I invited all of the girls and we were instantly set up and securely depositing money in each other’s bank accounts.  On top of that, when you invite a friend, Square Cash gives you and your friend $5 when they use it, too. So, I probably made about $30 that weekend and did not have to follow up with everyone to pay me back. Genius!

Now, I know you want to know if it’s easy to use, safe, and how it can actually play out in your REAL life. It’s not like you are going on a girls trip every weekend. I did some research about the safety and feel as good as I can in this day and age in which we live. I used to be an uber security freak about stuff and realized there was always going to be a loop hole that some evil person would try to exploit, and I do not want to live my life in fear. (Target security breach in 2014, anyone?) So, we got some identity protection insurance several years ago and have gone about our lives with much more peace of mind. On top of that, the app has one of the most easy, intuitive, and simple interfaces I have ever used. Continue Reading>>

What is a Home Essentialist?

We had just moved.  We were just forced to move.  It was not our plan and this house did not feel like our home.  I can still remember walking through the door for the first time.

I was a twenty-something woman who was no longer employed outside of the home.  I had just quit my full-time job the month before to be…at home.  But not this home. At our other home that I loved.  I had no kids.  I was not pregnant. We were hoping to have a baby soon but after almost eight years of marriage, I was wondering if that was going to happen.  For the first time in my life, I truly did not fit into any normal category.  What twenty-something woman without kids stays at home full-time?  The doubts swirled through my head as I tried to adjust to this new found environment that threatened to swallow me whole. Continue reading >>