Pounding the Pavement

Just a quick post today to share one of my favorite items to travel with: a Foot Rubz Massage Ball.

Foot Rubz Massage Ball
Foot Rubz Massage Ball

This little do-hickey is great after a long day of pounding the pavement. Just place under your foot and roll back and forth to soothe your muscles. I also like to place it between my back and a wall to help roll out my shoulders, too.

It’s a steal at about $5 and if you tuck it into a pair of shoes, it takes up no extra room in your luggage.

Check out my other travel essentials here!

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Dublin City Guide

Last spring, my husband and I used Dublin, Ireland as a means to get to London on the cheap. See, my husband’s miles are in the form of British Airways Avios and mine are American Airlines AAdvantage miles. An award ticket on British Airways (a oneworld partner) means paying a ridiculously high fuel surchage that they impose when you fly into or through Heathrow.

An award ticket on British Airways can still cost hundreds of dollars due to surcharges!
An award ticket on British Airways can still cost hundreds of dollars due to surcharges, even if you book through American Airlines!

So, we beat the system! British Airways calculates award tickets based on mileage. From Boston to Dublin is less than 3,000 miles, so an award ticket only costs 25,000 Avios + ~$100 roundtrip.

After booking our award tickets from Boston, we used my AAdvantage miles to fly from Chicago (where we were living at the time) to Boston. Then we opted to buy an Aer Lingus roundtrip ticket from Dublin to London-Heathrow for about $140 per person. The total amount we spent on all of our flights was still less than the cost of just one award ticket on a direct British Airways and we got to visit Boston and Dublin, too!

We spent about 36 hours in Dublin – here’s what we did.

Breakfast at Queen of Tarts | Dublin, Ireland
Breakfast at Queen of Tarts | Dublin, Ireland

Eat

After a long day of travel and a short red-eye, we had brunch at Avoca (11-13 Suffolk Street), which can best be described as eating in Anthropologie. Avoca is an Irish boutique that also has cafes attached most of its locations. In addition to a delicious meal, we also picked up a few souvenirs there. For dinner, we ate at Bank on College Green (20 College Green) before stopping in at Bowes Lounge (31 Fleet Street) for beer and a cocktail. The next morning, we grabbed a quick breakfast at Queen of Tarts (Cows Lane) before heading to London.

See

Trinity College | Dublin, Ireland
Trinity College | Dublin, Ireland | Source

Our first stop was Trinity College. There, we walked around the campus and also viewed the Book of Kells, the beautifully decorated illuminated manuscript that (probably) dates back to around 800 CE. In the afternoon, we took a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, which was fascinating. We also strolled along Grafton Street, the main shopping area in Dublin, before watching the sunset in St. Stephen’s Green.

Sleep

We stayed The Westin Dublin, which is located across the street from Trinity College. The hotel occupies a 19th-century building that was originally owned by a bank. Our room was incredibly spacious, if oddly laid out (due to being a former bank). Nonetheless, the quality of our sleep and the staff’s hospitality were unmatched.

For us, 36 hours in Dublin was perfect, but I would like to go back to Ireland to see more of the countryside. I’m particularly interested in a horseback riding holiday in Connemara as well as visiting Ashford Castle.

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Travel Project Plan

I love the excitement leading up to a trip. And personally, I like knowing that every detail has been pre-determined so I can run on autopilot while on vacation; that means a significant amount of research and advanced planning.

To keep myself organized, and capture my to-dos, I use a travel project plan, which I’m sharing with you today here! The timelines included are what I generally use for trips out of the country, which require a bit more lead time to book airfare. I’ve also included some notes about where to look for inspiration when creating your itinerary (I love looking at luxury tour offerings and using that as a foundation to build on!) as well as sources for finding can’t-miss-restaurants at your destination.

In the future, I’ll share ways of organizing your itinerary for easy reference before and during your trip. Happy planning!

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Bon Weekend(er)

For a short trip, I prefer to travel sans a suitcase and often opt for my favorite weekender: the Allrounder by reisenthel.

reisenthel Large Allrounder

The Allrounder is a doctor’s bag design; it zips down compactly, but opens quite wide, making it easy to find any article of clothing. It also has six interior pockets, which I love for keeping shoes, toiletries, and electronics separated. It’s made of a coated canvas material, so I don’t worry about it getting stained and it has short handles as well as a shoulder strap for easy carrying.

reisenthel is a German brand and unfortunately, has not yet begun shipping to the United States. The Container Store and Amazon, however, do carry a number of their products, including the Allrounder in different sizes and patterns.

Bon weekend!

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