Author Archives: JVO

Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 11/10/19 – Cannery Row

Special Guest
Diane Mandeville – VP of Marketing for Cannery Row
Social: #CanneryRow
Facebook: @CanneryRow
Twitter & Instagram: @VisitCanneryRow

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Cannery Row

Accommodations: Best Western Plus Victorian Inn
The Fish Hopper – Located on Cannery Row, with beautiful views of the ocean surrounding you, and fresh, local fish! We recommend the coconut shrimp!
Ghirardelli Chocolate – The first Ghirardelli after the original San Francisco location. A beautiful view and balcony overlooking the ocean. Located right on Cannery Row.
Surrey bike riding
Kayaking in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Monterey Mirror Maze
If you plan on visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row is a great place to stay. It’s within walking distance of the aquarium and will save you money on parking.
Cannery Row (and Monterey in general) is a very walkable area. If you fly into the Monterey Airport, you’re only a ten minute Uber ride from Cannery Row, so there’s no need to rent a car!

Accommodations: Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar at Monterey Plaza Hotel – fresh, delicious, sustainable seafood and panoramic ocean views while you eat!
Shopping – Plenty of shops along Cannery Row, like Pebble Beach Outlet, Antique Shops, Jewelry shops, art, etc.
A Taste of Monterey Wine Tasting – Monterey County is known for their wines!
Want to bring a bottle of wine home from your vacation? Because the TSA only puts restrictions on liquids that have an alcohol content of 24% or higher, and a bottle of wine typically has 10 to 15%, you can pack it in your checked bag.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
Wallaroo Hats by the Wallaroo Hat Company –
Wallaroo Hat Company offers fashionable and functional hats that make you look and feel great, while providing maximum sun protection. Starting at about $30, Wallaroo’s sun hats are scrunchable, adjustable, packable, and customizable – with a wire around the rim for shaping control, and a variety of colors to choose from. Wallaroo is a great hat for gardening, hiking, golf, and all your adventures in the sun. Block the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays to keep your skin healthy and beautiful… in style!

What’s on your phone?
LoungeBuddy – Free on iOS with in-app purchases – –
LoungeBuddy is the only App that makes it possible for all travelers to view, book, and access airport lounges around the world in seconds. You can create a trip and let LoungeBuddy tell you which lounges you already have access to. Don’t have access? No worries – you can purchase instant lounge access in seconds. From the casual travelers in economy to the seasoned elite road warrior, LoungeBuddy will help you make the most of your time at the airport.

What’s the tip?
Suitcase Packing Tips

16 Essential Suitcase Packing Tips: The Ultimate Guide to Smart Packing

Always start with a packing list, either a physical list or use an app
Always end by reviewing your packing list – you never know what you might forget.
Know your airline’s baggage fee policy. Do you need to check a bag? If so, how much will it cost? What size should it be? What weight? Every airline is different.
Roll your clothes – Seriously!
Bring clothes that you can easily mix and match. Neutral colors work very well, so you can easily re-wear and re-pair different pieces.
Use packing cubes or ziplock bags
Always pack essentials and at least one to two outfits in your carry-on
Bring extra bags (plastic or totes)
Wear your bulkiest items on the plane – Jackets, sweaters, heavy shoes
Use tissue paper to avoid wrinkles – Many travellers swear by rolling their clothes with sheets of tissue paper, or putting sheets of tissue paper between folded shirts. This apparently minimizes the friction/pressure, which then reduces wrinkles.
Pack a few bounce sheets for a fresh scent in your suitcase
Never pack anything “just in case”. If you don’t normally use it, leave it at home.
Leave a little extra space – This way you have some room for souvenirs. Plus things never get packed as compactly when returning from a trip!


Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 11/3/19 – Halloween Travel

Episode 68 – Website Info
Air Date: Sun. Nov. 3rd, 2019

Special Guest
Anna Mills – Travel blogger and founder of
Social: Instagram @adventureswithanna_ & Twitter @liltravelbaby

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Halloween Travel

Destination: Washington DC
Accommodations: Airbnb or homeaway
Restaurants: Groupon in the place you are going, food trucks
Free/Inexpensive Activities: All the museums – Just try to go at off-season times of the year and day, otherwise it can be super crowded.
Money Saving Travel Tips:
Package bundles
check the internet for deals and promo codes
take the bus or public transit

Destination: Colorado Springs Co
Accommodations: Best Western Plus Peak Vista Inn & Suites – about $80 a night.
Restaurants: A couple of my faves in downtown Colorado Springs:
Phantom Canyon (good food, good beer, and pool upstairs! hands down one of my favorite places in C Springs).
A little further out – the Broadmoor is expensive and I’m not a big fan of their restaurants, but the Golden Bee is fun and has good pub food.
Free/Inexpensive Activities:
Hiking at Red Rock Canyons
Garden of the Gods Park – a registered National Natural Landmark
Check out their free museums like the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center and the Ghost Town Museum
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo –
Visit in the winter for cheaper tickets! Adults (12-64) are $14.75 and Children (3-11) are $10.75. Peak days, like in the summer, can be up to $24.95.
Money Saving Travel Tips: Visit in the winter! Not only will you save money on flights and lodging, but also on activities. Plus, you can even go winter ziplining or do a jeep tour in the winter!
Tips for traveling on a budget.
Use the Free Days. A simple tip I know but simple is always good.
Talk to the Locals to find out what’s the best value in the area for restaurants and shops
Spend More Time in Fewer Places – Take a whole day to explore the zoo or free museums. Bring granola bars, sandwiches and your own water bottles to avoid purchasing food.
Be Flexible with Your Flight Dates – You can get some great deals this way!
Adjust Your Times for Flying – Even if you don’t want to get up to make that 6am flight, it might save you a bundle.
Fly on a Midweek Day – Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are usually the cheapest
Go Directly to the Airline Website to get the best value and choose your seat
Join a Frequent Flyer Program – You’ll be surprised how quickly you can earn miles

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
Upcycled Travel Gadgets
Use the plastic containers that bed sheets come in as convenient (free) packing organizers
Thread your jewelry through a straw to keep it from getting tangled
Clamp a binder clip over your razor while traveling so you don’t cut yourself when reaching for it
Purchase inexpensive, 3 oz plastic bottles to put your hair products in so you can easily pass through TSA without having to check your bag and save space in your suitcase
Use an old playing card to store all your bobby pins on
Bringing a bottle of wine on a road trip? Keep it from breaking by putting pool floaties around it
A “days of the week” pillbox can make a great storage space for your jewelry
Reuse mint tins and soap tins to hold necessities like ear swabs and bandages.
Going abroad? Pack a power strip along with a three-prong adapter. Now you can charge multiple devices at the same time.

What’s on your phone? – Budget Calculator by Country
View typical and average travel costs for thousands of cities and hundreds of countries around the world to help you plan your next trip’s budget.This information is designed to be used as a starting point for you as you begin deciding where to go and how much you need to save. All of the average travel costs and budgets come from real travelers. You can sign up, create a trip, and track your own travel expenses, too!
What’s the tip?
Best Credit Cards for Travel
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Flexible travel redemption options
$95 annual fee
Great if you only travel a few times a year
One-time signup bonus of 60,000 points (worth $750 in award travel)
Venture® Rewards Credit Card
2x miles on every $1 spent, regardless of the purchase.
The signup bonus is 50,000 miles (worth $500) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
The $95 annual fee is also waived for the first year.
Amex Platinum
$200 airline fee credit
Up to $200 in Uber ride credits
Complimentary access to Centurion, Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club, and other lounge networks
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
Automatic Gold loyalty status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy
The current welcome bonus is 60,000 bonus points (worth $600 in award travel) after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.



Trip Sisters – Show Notes – Haunted Destinations (10/27/19)


Special Guest
Amy Bizzarri – Travel Expert & Writer, Author of Choose Chicago
Website: 111 Places in Chicago That You Must Not Miss Kids Edition!
Social: @amybizzarri

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Haunted Travel

Destination: New Orleans, Louisiana
One of the most haunted hotels in the French Quarter.
Luxury hotel with an ideal location where people can enjoy fine dining, art, antique stores and wonderful accommodations.
There is the ghost of a maid from the 18th century that enjoys tucking the hotel guests into their beds at night.
It is reported that this ghost goes even further than tucking people into bed. She’s been known to flush a toilet at different times as well as run a bath.
Lights are known to come on in the middle of the night by an unseen ghost. Some spirits will attach to guests and follow them around the hotel, while other ghosts like to move things around on the guests.
Restaurants: Commander’s Palace – Notable spot for refined Creole fare & an elegant jazz brunch in a chandelier-hung space since 1880.
Ghost, Cemetery, VooDoo, Vampire Tours (and more)
VooDoo and Occult Shops
Visit Magazine Street for antique shops, local-made jewelry stores, and plenty of independent boutiques
Visit during the week or in the off season (June-September) for fewer crowds and better deals
Don’t rent a car. You can easily get around with Ubers or for $1.25 ride on the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world.
If you visit in the summer, prepare for humidity

Destination: Fall River, Massachusetts – Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum
Accommodations: The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast
This allegedly haunted bed and breakfast is the sight of a gruesome and highly publicized murder that occurred in 1892. Although she was acquitted, Lizzie Borden was suspected of killing her father and stepmother with a hatchet in the unassuming home. Since then, guests have reported all manner of strange sightings in the house.
For anyone intrigued by unsolved crimes and brave enough to risk an encounter with the supernatural, the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast is an ideal destination. If the idea of staying an entire night makes you uneasy, however, the daily tours are a good and thoroughly enjoyable alternative.
The Lizzie Borden room is $225+tx for two people.
The room can also be combined with the Emma Borden room as a suite for up to four people for $425 and all overnight stays include an evening tour of the house and full breakfast.
You can rent the entire house for $1500 for up to 20 people!
No children under 10 allowed to stay.
Book your room at
Restaurants: St. James Irish Pub
Right down the street from the museum
Laid back, typical bar food, typical relaxed bar kind of atmosphere
The drinks are well-priced
Kitchen doesn’t close until midnight.
Tour the Lizzie Borden House & Museum –
Battleship Cove & other museums in the area
Shopping in this quaint town
Freetown-Fall River State Forest for hiking
Fly into Boston airport and rent a car to drive the hour north to Falls River. Especially in the fall, you’ll get beautiful views.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
EVP Wrist Recorder 3 – $59.95 at
This ‘handy’ audio recorder puts high quality EVP capture right on your wrist with a full color display, live listening, built in speaker and more storage. Just put it on, hit record and go investigating. This unit will last through the night without having to even think about it. While strapped on your wrist you will greatly reduce false evidence from fumbling sounds leaving your hands free to work.

What’s on your phone?
Ghost Observer (free on iOS & Android) –
Ghost Observer is an entertaining camera tool that shows ghosts around you in an augmented reality experience. See real ghosts on live video, and hear them speak! Use the spiritism tool to communicate with the spirit and ask them questions. The app will give you information about the type and age of the ghost you are seeing – and the best part? It’s free!

What’s the tip?
Tips for Best Haunted Places in Chicago
Take a Chicago Ghost tour to learn about the history and haunts of some of the city’s most famous (and infamous) locations.
Stay at one of Chicago’s haunted hotels, like Congress Plaza, Palmer House or the Drake.
Take a haunted cruise across Lake Michigan on the Spirit of Chicago. Tickets for this Halloween extravaganza can be purchased at


Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 10/13/19 – European Vacations

Episode 70 – Website Info
Air Date: Sun. Oct. 13th, 2019

Special Guest
Alecia Wartowski – Traveler and Executive Director of Foundation 65

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Halloween Travel

European Destination: Salzburg, Austria
What makes it unique: Salzburg is an Austrian city on the border of Germany, with views of the Eastern Alps. A mid-size fairytale city in a valley in Austria where Mozart was born and the Sound of Music was filmed.
Accommodations: Hotel Sacher on the Salzach river or the local hostel which is famous for patrons dancing on tables in their bar. Pensions are also an affordable option and tend to be super cute. Or you can stay on a local farm, which is what we did and had an amazing farm breakfast.
Restaurants: Augustiner Brau – a beer garden run by monks
Salt mine Hallstatt Austria – Cavernous salt-mine museum with educational exhibits, an underground slide & a salt-lake boat ride.
Riding bikes around town
Take the Sound of Music tour (book at
When to visit: Spring, summer and fall
How to get around: Public Transportation the best as parking is limited. You must purchase a bus pass but then you can hop on and off any form of transit that you would like…
About 30 minutes from Salzburg is Hallstat, a town on the edge of a lake surrounded by mountains. You need to take a boat to visit but it is gorgeous.
In Austria, many businesses are closed on Sundays so plan accordingly
Taxes are included in the prices
Many Austrians speak basic English
No need to tip as waiters get paid at least min. wage (unless you’re feeling generous, of course)

European Destination: London, England
What makes it unique: The food, atmosphere, there is something electro to this city that is hard for me to explain. It’s easy to get to like on Norwegian Air although they will not be running until March 2020 now.
Accommodations: Athenaeum Hotel – Hidden away in Mayfair, the classy, elegant Athenaeum Hotel even offers afternoon teas, cakes and pastries.
Afternoon Tea at other hotels like Claridges, the Sanderson, Browns, and the Ritz.
Many hotels offer great themed afternoon teas, like the Alice in Wonderland themed Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson.
Activities: Site seeing and doing day trips to Downton Abbey film locations like the Highclere Castle –
When to visit: Fall is great as they celebrate the holidays starting in November. Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum is a favorite!
How to get around: The tube – Use the Oyster card (a payment method for public transport in London in the United Kingdom)
If you want to take the Eurostar to Paris…
The Channel Tunnel provides a route to Britain from the European continent via Eurostar trains (which take passengers) and Eurotunnel trains (which take passengers in their cars).
The cost is comparable to flying and the train can be more convenient and eco-friendly.
A one-way ticket between London and Paris can cost as little as $32; prices depend on the day and time of your journey and how far in advance you book.
Passengers on coaches/buses and in cars board a freight train run by Eurotunnel that takes 35 minutes to travel from Calais in France to the port of Folkestone in the UK
Tipping taxi drivers
It’s customary to round the total fare up to the nearest pound. If you choose to tip your taxi driver because they help you with your luggage or have delivered excellent service, a 10-15% tip is a nice gesture.
Tipping when you order food
Although you don’t need to tip the delivery person when they drop off your food, an extra pound or two will always be appreciated.
If you’re in a restaurant a service charge is sometimes added to your total bill, which you are expected to pay.
If nothing is added and you are happy with the service you’ve received, a tip of around 10-15% is standard

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
Travelon Bags –
Founded as a domestic manufacturer of luggage carts more than 30 years ago, Travelon is now an industry leader of travel products and accessories designed to make Travel Easier and Safer™ for all. With features like locking compartments, RFID Blocking pockets, and slash-resistant materials, Travelon wallets, bags, or carryons are a must-have for every jet-setter.

What’s on your phone?
Omio –
Omio has simplified the travel planning process so that you can save time—and money! Check all your options and use the advanced filters to accommodate your personal needs. Their real-time comparison gives you direct access to over 600 trains, buses, and flight partners, and you can compare the three different modes of transport directly next to one another to find the quickest and/or most affordable journey.

What’s the tip?
Tips for Sleeping on a Plane
An eye mask – Instead of using the cheap, scratchy eye masks that the airlines sometimes pass out on long flights, bring your own. You’ll be much more comfortable.
Earplugs – Essential for a good night’s sleep.
Noise-cancelling headphones – If there’s a screaming baby near you, earplugs aren’t going to the trick. Use noise-cancelling headphones to play soft music, an audio book or meditation music.
Wear comfortable clothes – Be sure to dress in layers and wear comfortable clothes.
Buckle up – Wear your seatbelt over the outer garment of your clothing or blanket so flight attendants don’t have to wake you when they do their safety checks if the seatbelt sign goes on.
Pack food and water – If you don’t want to be restricted to the flight crew’s schedule, bring your own food and drink.
Get a window seat – So you have something to lean against
Communicate – When boarding, be sure to let the flight attendant know not to wake you for food or drink if you don’t want any
Bring a pillow – There are tons of different neck pillows on the market.
Sleeping pills – Might be the only thing to work for some people but check with your doctor first.


Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 10/6/19 – Halloween

Episode 68 – Website Info
Air Date: Sun. Oct. 6, 2019

Special Guest
Christopher Schacht – Author of Around the World on 50 Bucks
Social: @christopherschacht_

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Halloween Travel

Destination: Chicago/Illinois
Accommodations: Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center
Historic hotel located on Michigan Ave.
This year, on Oct. 26th, they’re hosting the Haunted Halloween Ball, a 21+ Halloween dance/costume party. Tickets are $20.
Hofbrauhaus Chicago in Rosemont – The massive beer hall – which can easily hold 1,000 people – is designed like its sister beer hall in Munich where people drink beer out of large steins, and order Teutonic edibles like Bavarian sausages or Apfelstrudel, homemade apple strudel with ice cream. Perfect for Oktoberfest-lovers.
Long Grove Confectionery Company in Long Grove, IL for amazing apple cider donuts.
Fright Fest at Six Flags –
Select dates and weekends, September 14 – November 3
Located at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL (45 min from Chicago)
Buy your advance purchase tickets online for only $47.99 and save 40% off the regular price of $79.99.
May not want to bring your kids after dark, as that’s when the “ghouls” come out!
13th Floor Haunted House in Melrose Park, IL –
Purchase tickets online in advance to skip the line at the box office
Prices vary based on day, but range between $19.99 and $32.99 per person
For busy days, purchase a Fast Pass ($10 extra) or Skip the Line ticket ($20 extra).
Tips: Illinois is also home to a lot of apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Kids will love these, but even adults will enjoy walking around these areas on crisp autumn days. Also, check your area for fun fall festivals and Oktoberfests!
Fun Facts: Chicago Is 2019’s 8th Best City in the U.S. for Celebrating Oktoberfest

Destination: Sonoma, California

Accommodations: Hotel Healdsburg
Restaurants: Drycreek Kitchen for dinner like scallops and steak. Oakville grocery for lunch.
Activities: Jordan halloween party theme this year is Animale. So, you have to wear feathers, scales or fur.
Sonoma events in October 2019 include Pinot on the River, the Harvest Fair, and the Alexander Valley Film Festival.
Other highlights include outdoor concerts at Gundlach Bundschu, Laughfest, and the Geyserville Beer, Wine, & Spirits Festival.
Hot Air Balloon Ride: Admire Sonoma County from above on a Hot Air Balloon Ride, you will spend an hour cruising high above the vineyards as you learn more about the region, the entire experience is about 3 to 4. Discounts available on Groupon (around $179 for one, with champagne toast)
Sonoma Food Tour: Sample some of Sonoma’s tastiest dishes on this 3-hour food walking tour around the Sonoma Square
Healdsburg All Day Biking & Wine Tasting Tour: Enjoy a day wine tasting near Healdsburg around Dry Creek Valley, during the tour you will ride a hybrid bike around 20 miles (32km) at a leisurely pace, stop by 3 to 4 wineries.
Tips for Sonoma Wine Tasting
Make an Appointment At Smaller Wineries. …
Plan your Tasting Times Correctly (maybe first thing in the day isn’t the best idea!)
Don’t Drink and Drive! Plan your rides ahead of time.
Spitting is Normal. You’ll still be able to enjoy the flavor without the effects.
Learn to Swirl – It really allows you to smell the wine and gives it a chance to breathe
Fun Fact: The California wine industry officially began in the Sonoma Valley, with Sonoma County produces 6% of all the wine available from California

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
KegWorks Pumpkin Tap Kit –
Make a pumpkin an “extra-gourdinary” way to pour your favorite fall beverages with our pumpkin tap kit. Just cut open a pumpkin, hollow out the inside and cut a hole to attach the shank and faucet. Then fill with your favorite pumpkin-flavored beer, cider or punch and serve.
It is a perfect way to serve drinks at Halloween parties, fall-themed parties and Friendsgiving celebrations.

What’s on your phone?
Ghost Lens AR Fun Movie Maker (ages 12+)
Clone&Ghost Photo Video Editor – Free on iOS with in-app purchases
Use Ghost Lens to have an out-of-body experience and snap STUNNING video&photo to impress your followers. This app can change the transparency of the video character and add “Fade in” and “Fade out” effect to your video & photo, so that you can make your “GHOST” looming in your video to spook your friends and family

What’s the tip?
Travel Horror Movies
Hostel (2005) – Three backpackers head to a Slovak city, with no idea of the hell that awaits them.
Turistas (2006 – Josh Duhamal, Olivia Wilde) – A group of young backpackers’ vacation turns sour when a bus accident leaves them marooned in a remote Brazilian rural area that holds an ominous secret.
The Descent (2005) – A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and pursued by a strange breed of predators.
Friday the 13th (1980) – A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by a killer while trying to reopen a summer camp.
Deliverance (1972) – A group of friends go on a canoeing trip in dangerous American back-country where they meet disturbed hillbillies.
The Shining (1980) – A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence drives the father crazy and turns their stay into a nightmare.
Psycho (1960) – A secretary goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.
Wrong Turn (2006) – Six people find themselves trapped in the woods of West Virginia, hunted down by cannibalistic mountain men.
The Hills Have Eyes (2003) – A family falls victim to a group of mutated cannibals in a desert far away from civilization.
Jaws (1970) – A killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community..


Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 9/29/19 – Travel Disasters

Episode 68 – Website Info
Air Date: Sun. Sept. 29, 2019

Special Guest
Spud Hilton – Host of Inappropriate Traveler travel podcast
Website: Inappropriate Traveler site –
Podcast: Inappropriate Traveler on Apple Podcast –
Twitter: @SpudHilton
IG: @SpudHilton

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Travel Disasters

Biggest Travel Disaster: Listen to find out!
How You Handled It: Listen to find out!
How it Could Have Been Avoided: Listen to find out!
Tips for When Things Go Wrong While Traveling: Listen to find out!

Biggest Travel Disaster: My biggest disaster was traveling all day from Dallas and my flight was diverted in Philadelphia. From there they cancelled the last flight to Chicago. So, I had to get a hotel room with no luggage. I slept in my clothes and took the first flight out in the am. Killeen was little and it was hard to be away for another day.
How You Handled It: You have to go with the Flow, what can you do. It was weather related and then the second leg was the crew did not make it in.
How it Could Have Been Avoided: Some travel disasters you can’t avoid, so you just have to adjust for them when they happen.
Tips for When Things Go Wrong While Traveling: Regroup. Sit down, take a few deep breaths, and reset before going off on a tizzy. Damage control. Just how bad is this?
Figure out next steps.
Have a freak out, then let it go.
Be friendly.
Be grateful.
Be prepared in advance.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
H2rOse Water –
H2rOse reinvents the experience of drinking water adding a light, crisp and refreshing touch of excitement. We bring the benefits of rosewater and saffron together with the practice of hydration. The combination of both of these distinct ingredients and the refreshing taste of H2rOse provides you with a beautiful beverage that will allow you to reap the benefits of beauty and health from within.

What’s on your phone?
bSafe App – Available for free on Android and Apple at
With features like Live Streaming, an SOS button, Voice Activation, Personal Guardian Networks, Fake Calls, Sirens and more, bSafe eliminates the danger of traveling alone, putting parents and solo travelers at ease.

What’s the tip?
Red Flags You’re About to Stay at a Bad Hotel
Photos are Doctored – If the photos on the hotel website or booking site look photo-shopped or too perfect, it might be too good to be true. Do a Google search of the hotel to see photos real people have posted.
Check out the Street View – If the hotel website says your hotel is surrounded by scenic views, double check the “street view” option on Google maps to see if the area looks like it says it does.
The Price Doesn’t Fit – If you’re getting a five-star hotel at a two-star hotel price, do some more investigating. Double-check that there aren’t any renovations that are causing the price to drop.
Check for Bedbugs – On, you can type in the name of your hotel and find its specific location to see if any guests reported bed bugs while staying there.
All the Good Reviews are Old – A hotel may have stellar reviews, but if they’re all over six months old, something dramatic may have changed since then. Watch for a sudden surge of recent bad reviews too.
The Carpets are Dirty – Nasty carpets usually mean nasty sheets and towels and coffee cups. You should also be on the lookout for small patches of carpet that don’t quite match the whole thing. That’s a sign that staff hastily removed and switched out a stained or damaged patch, rather than replacing the whole carpet or doing a thorough cleaning.


Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 9/22/19 – Coastal Paradise

Episode 67 – Website Info
Air Date: Sun. Sept. 22, 2019

Click here to donate to the Hurricane Dorian Relief fun for the Bahamas:

Special Guest
Hans Miller – CEO of Airside, the maker of Mobile Passport

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Coastal Destinations

Destination: Pensacola, Florida – Located on the Florida panhandle on Pensacola Bay (an arm of the Gulf of Mexico).
Accommodations: Surf & Sand Hotel Pensacola Beach
Restaurant: The Oar House – seafood and american and outside on the water. Any catch and cook restaurant too!
Watch the Blue Angels fly, deep sea fishing, water sports and a great beach
Naval Aviation Museum
Blue Wahoos Ballpark for a minor league game
Tips: Condo, townhouse, or house rentals are another great option for accommodations, especially for families!

Destination: Carmel by the Sea, California
Accommodations: Tradewinds Carmel – Personal touches like a handwritten note and chocolate-dipped strawberries on arrival make a stay at this historic Carmel gem extra sweet.
Restaurant: Il Tegamino – A romantic, off-the-beaten-path restaurant, with a very European feel, from the space itself to the Italian comfort food.
The Scenic Bluff Path runs from surf spot Carmel Beach to bird-rich Carmel River State Beach, with a scuba entry point.
Check out the sea animals like sea lions and whaling museum of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
Hit the green at world-famous golf course, Pebble Beach.
Check out the Sunset Cultural Center, a vibrant performing arts center that hosts hundreds of performances a year, or the beloved Carmel Art Walk.
Carmel Beach – Enjoy everything from swimming and surfing to volleyball and beachcombing. Pack a picnic lunch… and don’t forget the wine!
Don’t leave without: Taking the 17-Mile Drive tour. There are no ugly views on this scenic drive — think dramatic, majestic cliffs, secluded beaches, even magical redwood forests.
Very walkable town – Wear comfortable shoes!
For two years in the ‘80s, Clint Eastwood presided over this town as mayor.
The rocky bit of coastline located in Carmel-by-the-Sea appears in some of the Big Little Lies beach scenes.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
VONT Collapsible LED Lantern –
This set of adventure-ready collapsible LED lanterns is built-tough and backed by a lifetime guarantee. Each lantern goes button-free; just pull the handles to shine 30 ultra-bright LEDs that can last up to 12 hours of 360-degree brightness. Made with military-grade materials, the water-resistant, shock-proof lanterns are durable but lightweight and collapse down for easy portability.

What’s on your phone?
As a part of Florida’s Healthy Beaches Program, you can use this interactive map to see the water quality at your possible destination.

What’s the tip?
Travel Tips for Hurricane Season
Hurricane season extends from the beginning of June to the end of November in the Atlantic and from mid-May to the end of November in the Eastern Pacific. The peak is from mid-August until October, with most of the major storms hitting through the month of September.
You can get some great bargains traveling to destinations that are prone to hurricanes, you just need to educate yourself on how to travel safely.
Be Proactive – Subscribe to STEP (Smart Traveler Enrolment Program) which will get you in touch with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to make them aware of your presence in the area. Registration in these programs will subscribe you to text and email weather alerts. Getting a Red Cross app on your phone will link you into weather alerts as well.
Get Travel Insurance – Make sure your insurance covers trip interruption and trip cancellation. Usually, a comprehensive plan is the best way to go, but make sure you read the fine print around weather, acts of nature and catastrophic events. Also, make sure you’ve got medical coverage- either through your health care plan or through additional travel insurance.
Pack a Smart Carry-On – When traveling during a season where weather can be unpredictable, the likelihood of flight delays and losing your luggage increases. Reduce this stress by packing a quality carry-on with all of the necessities you might need for a couple of days.
Refunds – Check with your hotel before you go on what their hurricane policies are. Some offer refunds, but most hotels will offer guests a credit or a discount to come back and stay at a later date. Airlines typically will allow you to change your flight plans without penalty.
Extra Packing – Bring a travel first aid kit, a battery operated radio and a flashlight for starters.


Chicago restaurants announced on the 2020 MICHELIN Bib Gourmand list

The MICHELIN Bib Gourmand list for 2020 is out, and 54 Chicago restaurants make the list. MICHELIN’s criteria looks at restaurants serving “high-quality food at a reasonable price.”

Of the 54 restaurants, 14 are new. Eater reports that 19 restaurants were 86d this time around, including Au Cheval and Hopleaf. Here’s the full list:

Avlí Taverna (NEW)
Birrieria Zaragoza (NEW)
Cabra (NEW)
Ceres’ TAble
Chilam Balam
Cira (NEW)
County Barbecue (NEW)
Daguan Noodle
Dos Urban Cantina
The Duck Inn
etta (NEW)
Fat Rice
Flat & Point (NEW)
Frontera Grill
Funkenhausen (NEW)
Ghin Khao (NEW)
Gilt Bar
Girl & The Goat
GT Fish & Oyster
Ina Mae Tavern (NEW)
Kai Zan
Kie-Gol-Lanee (NEW)
La Josie (NEW)
Lonesome Rose
Longman & Eagle
Lula Café
Mango Pickle
Mi Tocaya
Mott St.
Nella Pizza e Pasta (NEW)
Pacific Standard Time
Pizzeria Bebu
Pleasant House Pub
The Purple Pig
San Soo Gab San
Smoque BBQ
Sol de Mexico
Table, Donkey and Stick
True Food Kitchen
Untitled Supper Club
Virtue (NEW)

Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 9/7/19 – Michigan

Episode 65 – Website Info
Air Date: Sun. Sept. 8, 2019

Special Guest
Erin Ernst – Director of Marketing – Inn at Bay Harbor

Colleen, Catie’s and Audrey’s Picks for Michigan Getaways

Destination: Holland, Michigan
Distance from Chicago: 3 hours
Why it’s unique: Adorable town with a private lake AND on lake michigan
Accommodations: CityFlats Hotel – Leed certified modern cool hotel right in the downtown area
Restaurant: Boatworks Restaurant – Right on the water, great food and location, location, location!
Lake activities such as paddle boarding jet skis
Dutch Village – Great for kids
Windmills – Sometimes they even have festivals
Tips: Go on a Thursday as they shut down the downtown to cars and there are street performers everywhere…and it is free!

Destination: Petoskey, Michigan
Distance from Chicago: 6 hours from Chicago
Accommodations: The Inn at Bay Harbor, Autograph Collection. They have regular rooms, suites on the water (we stayed in the suite) or cottages to rent for your whole family, or multi-gen. Has quite a few restaurants in the area you can walk to.
Restaurants: Vintage Chop House – American Steakhouse with the perfect view of sunset
Electric bikes at the hotel are great. You can also rent at Pedego in town.
Smores at night, pool, the Bay Harbor golf club
Looking for Petoskey stones (a rock and a fossil, often pebble-shaped, that is composed of a fossilized rugose coral).
The spa at the Inn is fantastic.
Tips: Book in advance, especially if you’re planning your summer vacation

Destination: Muskegon, Michigan
Distance from Chicago: Little over 3 hours, also have direct flights from O’Hare
Why it’s unique: A lot of different things to do, unique shops, and it’s right on the water. Almost like if Portland were a beach town.
Accommodations: Shoreline Inn & Conference Center. Right on the water, beautiful marina views, indoor pool with two hot tubs, centrally located to downtown Muskegon.
The Deck – Casual dining right on the water by Pier Marquette Beach
Hearthstone Bistro – More upscale, with a lovely garden area for outdoor seating. Delicious goat cheese fritters and peanut butter pie!
Michigan’s Adventure – Cedar Fair amusement park and water park. 9 coasters, good for kids or teens who want some thrills, but nothing too intense.
USS Silversides – Submarine Museum – Beautiful museum plus you get to explore and walk through a real submarine.
Aquastar Cruises – Take a cruise around the bay of Lake Michigan. An hour and 45 min. Relaxing.
East of Eden Spa – Relaxing, holistic spa with massages, float treatments good for those with physical ailments, and a salt room, good for breathing.
Tips: If you go to Michigan’s Adventure and the water park, which is easily accessed within the park, rent a locker outside of the water park, and leave your stuff there. You can have access to your locker all day, even after the water park closes at 7pm. $10 for a decent sized locker (good for 2 people).

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
Lay/N/Go Cosmo Plus Starting at $19.95 on
This cosmetic bag allows you to see all of your cosmetics at once, and clean up in seconds. Great for staying organized while you travel!

What’s on your phone?

How to use Google Lens to enhance your vacation
Not only is it good for translating signs in a foreign country, but it can also help you to identify buildings, landmarks, and even fruits, vegetables, plants and animals.
You do need wifi to access Google Lens, but if you don’t have wifi access at the time, you can always take a photo and then use your Google lense to identify the object later.
It’s also really helpful for reading menus in foreign countries, or even just ethnic restaurants in general.

What’s the tip?

Extra items you can carry on a plane for free
Jacket – You can wear your jacket on board. There’ll probably even be space in the overhead bin or under your seat if you don’t want to wear it for the entire flight. Or just drape it over your lap.
Clothing Layers – You might not be able to wear all your layers for your security screening, but you sure can wear them to board the plane.
Neck Pillow – You can clip your neck pillow to your suitcase if you can’t fit it inside. Some people even wear it around their neck to board!
Umbrella – Just put it somewhere on the plane where you’ll remember to bring it with you when you leave.
Camera Bag – totally fine, because this is also an item that is allowed to be separate from your outer luggage dimension limits.
Hat – Wearing it to board can save you precious luggage space if you’re struggling to zip that bag.
Duty-Free Purchases or Any Kind of Merchandise Purchased at the Airport
Reading Material – Just hold your book or ereader in your hand.
Infant Accessories – These include a car seat, collapsible stroller, and a bag up to 5kg/11 lbs – or more.
Medical Devices – Cane or crutches, collapsible wheelchair, and any oxygen or dialysis devices you’re dependent on. All free of charge.


Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 9/1/19 – Moviecations

Episode 64 – Website Info
Air Date: Sun. Sept. 1, 2019

Special Guest
CANDACE BUSHNELL – The critically acclaimed, internationally bestselling author of Sex and the City, Four Blondes, Lipstick Jungle, The Carrie Diaries, One Fifth Avenue, Trading Up, Summer and the City, Killing Monica, and her latest book Is There Still Sex in the City? Sex and the City, published in 1996, was the basis for the HBO hit series and two subsequent blockbuster movies. Lipstick Jungle became a popular television series on NBC, as did The Carrie Diaries on the CW.
Social: @CandaceBushnell

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Moviecations

Destination: Oahu, Hawaii
Movie Filmed There: “Jurassic Park”, “50 First Dates” and “Pearl Harbor”
Accommodations: Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort – Smaller hotel, more intimate and private.
Restaurant: Duke’s Restaurant and any food truck
Horseback riding
A ‘Jurassic Park’ ATV Tour – A tour that takes you to the memorable filming locations, valleys and remote areas.
Tips for Hawaii: Stay on the north side of the island of Oahu. It’s gorgeous and less touristy and where Jurassic park and a to of other famous movies were filmed
Favorite Movie About Travel? “Under the Tuscan Sun”, “European Vacation”


Destination: Ireland – Dublin, Derry or Belfast
Movie or Show Filmed There: Game of Thrones
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn is where you stay if taking your tour out of Dublin. If you take the tour in Belfast it’s at Jury Inn, Victoria street.
Restaurant: They have set restaurants!
Activities: Game of Thrones Tour – There are nine Game of Thrones® film locations on site, all close together. A 16th century castle and stableyard is the film location of Winterfell in Dublin. They even provide Stark cloaks, replica swords, shields and banners at no extra cost.
Tips for a Moviecation: Find out where the behind-the-scenes staff of your film spent their time by asking your destination’s tourist board or your hotel’s concierge, and check out a few of the spots.
Favorite Movie About Travel? The Quiet Man (filmed in Ireland’s WAW)

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
Amazon Fire TV Stick – $39.99 on
Watch Prime, Hulu, Netflix and many other streaming services, just by plugging it into your compatible TV with an HDMI export. Tip: Not sure if your hotel has Netflix and don’t have a fire stick? Bring an HDMI cable and laptop for streaming shows or movies at your hotel.

What’s on your phone?
Bounce Baggage App –
Find safe and convenient spots to store your luggage or belongings without having to carry them around all day for as little as $5.90/item. Available in major cities around the U.S., like San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Boston, Philly, DC, Austin and many more. Tip: Most hotels will also let you leave your luggage at the hotel after you check out if you’re still exploring the area. You can also usually leave it at the hotel prior to check in, if you get in early before your room is ready.

What’s the tip?
Things You Absolutely Must Do Before You Board a Plane
Download and Use Your Airline’s App – Easy check-in and boarding pass access.
Get The Airline Credit Card – Get more FF points and perks
Research your Aircraft – Planes can vary a lot, so by doing your research ahead of time you’ll be sure to book the one with the best legroom, on-board entertainment, etc.
Use FlightStats to track flight statuses, on-time performances, weather conditions, and even the flight history of your specific aircraft, all in real-time so that if your plane is delayed, you can be the first to know and the first to get rebooked.
Connect for Less – Many airports offer free Wi-Fi, but beware of hackers. Using a VPN offers a measure of protection. Several American Express credit cards offer complimentary Wi-Fi access in case there are no free networks available.


Trip Sisters – Show Notes 8/22/19 – Overtourism

Air Date: Sat. Aug. 24, 2019

Special Guest
Ralph Velasco – Founder/CEO at PhotoEnrichment Adventures and Alla Campagna Experiences, and Creator of

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Overtourism

Destination to Avoid: Washington, DC (unless you go in winter)
Recommended Destination: Columbia, South Carolina (in fall)
Accommodations: Hyatt Place Downtown Columbia
7.4 miles from Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Complimentary morning Kitchen Skillet™ buffet with hot breakfast
Complimentary fitness center, indoor swimming pool
Doc’s BBQ (Classic SC BBQ buffet with family style seating)
Café Strudel (Southern Sunday brunch, Famous for their hangover hash browns and cinnamon pancakes)
Riverbanks Zoo (giraffe feeding, penguin experience) and Botanical Garden
South Carolina State Museum (Telescope gallery, planetarium, 4D theatre, etc.)
Columbia Museum of Art
Off-Season: Winter/Spring

Destination to Avoid: Nashville, TN
Recommended Destination: Sevierville, TN
Accommodations: The Resort at Governor’s Crossing – This relaxed, family-friendly resort and water park is less than 5 miles from Dollywood Theme Park and Pigeon Forge.
Frank Allen’s Market & Grill – Casual but delicious hot dogs (Dolly Parton’s favorite)
Apple Barn and Cider Mill – Working apple farm
The Chop House – Steaks and Seafood
Foxfire Mountain (ziplining, ropes course, ATV rides)
Dollywood (theme park for families)
Hiking in the Smoky Mountains
Tennessee Museum of Aviation
Off-Season: Winter/Spring

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
My Infinite Agenda Planner – $29.00 at Barnes & Noble
A vision-board planner designed to help make your goals and dreams a reality. Write your daily grind next to big picture goals and dreams for a full calendar year – August to August!

What’s on your phone?
Social Status – Busy Places App – Free on iOS
Instantly see where the crowd is. See what bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and night clubs are busy or quiet near you at a glance. Works in any city!

What’s the tip?
Labor Day Travel Tips
The worst days for delays are the days everybody is most likely to be at the airport: The Friday before Labor Day and the Tuesday after.
The best days to travel are the actual weekend, Saturday and Sunday. Decent days to travel are the Wednesday before Labor Day, and the Wednesday after Labor Day.
Consider other modes of transportation, such as bus or train.
If you are driving, download a real time traffic app, and look into alternate routes that may be less busy.
Of the major U.S. airlines, Hawaiian is most likely to get you to your Labor Day destination on time, with an on-time performance rating of 94.76 percent. Runners up were Alaska Airlines (90.37 percent on time) and Delta (87.93 percent)
Consider a staycation instead of traveling anywhere.


Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 8/17/19 – College Towns

Special Guest
Ken Cruse, Founder of Soul Community Planet
Website: and and
Social: @SCPHotels

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for College Towns

Colleen – Austin – University of Texas
Driskill Hotel – Austin’s premier historic hotel. Take a stroll through the lobby with its marble columns and magnificent glass dome or enjoy a drink at the Driskill Bar. About $170 a night
Terry Black’s BBQ – Famous local spot for great BBQ
Franklin Barbecue – Great BBQ in a party-like atmosphere
Campus Activities:
Check out a football game at the University of Texas. The University of Texas has traditionally been considered a college football powerhouse. Through the 2015 season, the Longhorns were ranked seventh in the all-time list for winning percentage and third all time for total wins.
Make sure you check the game schedule and purchase tickets ahead of time.
Other Activities:
Texas Capitol – Historic landmark
Zilker Metropolitan Park – Great for boat rentals
Check out a concert – Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World
How to get around: Rent a car
Check out the 7 museums on campus at University of Austin.
If you or your child is considering the university, they can sit in on a class or schedule appointments to meet with a teacher or advisor.

Catie – Minneapolis/St. Paul – University of Minnesota
Hotel Ivy, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Minneapolis – Busy area with theaters & upscale restaurants, plus entertainment venues like Target Center arena. 10 minute drive from campus. About $200 a night.
Capital Grille – Upscale American Steakhouse
Hell’s Kitchen – American Bar
Sally’s – Delicious food and a great atmosphere!
Gluek’s Restaurant + Bar – Great food and drinks in a historic warehouse.
Campus Activities:
Check out a football game. The Minnesota Golden Gophers are one of the oldest programs in college-football history. They have won 7 National Championships and 18 Big Ten Conference Championships.
Other Activities:
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Mall of America
How to get around:
Drive or take the Light rail or Metro. There’s also a free shuttle service that runs regularly between the two campuses.
Wear layers! You never know what the weather will be like.
If you go to the Mall of America, be sure to pick up a coupon book at Guest Services before shopping.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
Best snacks for a road trip:
Bnutty Gourmet Peanut Butter – Comes in a variety of flavors, such as toffy. Great to bring in the car with some crackers or an apple.
Just the Cheese snacks – Puffed cheese snacks – good for kids.
MinusCal bars – Healthy snack that’s low in calories but fills you up

What’s on your phone?
Real-time school bus tracking complete with push notification and email alerts as the bus approaches a stop or house.

What’s the tip?
Tips for your next College Visit
Schedule your visit while school is in session to get a realistic idea of student life.
Talk to the current students—they may soon be your peers. Come prepared with some questions to ask—specific ones will get you more interesting (and helpful) answers.
Stop by the admissions office and introduce yourself. Let them know what interests you about the school so they can direct you to the best place for further investigation.
Take the campus tour – It gives the school a chance to show off its best features, like the newly-built theater or their rooftop planetarium.
Check out the flyers and bulletin boards and pick up a school newspaper to get a sense of what’s going on.
Take your own un-official tour by wandering around campus. Make sure your destinations include the library and the first-year dorms.
Be a student for a day (or night) – Some schools sponsor overnight programs in which you can stay with a current student. This will give you a better idea of campus life.


Cemetery objects to exhuming legendary criminal’s body

Notorious bank robber John Dillinger’s been buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indiana since 1934, and the History Channel wants to dig him up.

Dillinger, who was famously gunned down in Chicago outside the Biograph Theater, is the subject of a new History Channel documentary. The network wants to exhume the body to confirm Dillinger’s identity. Some speculation has it that it’s not actually Dillinger in the grave.

Crown Hill opposes the action. In a statement, the cemetery says, “We … have concerns that the complex and commercial nature of this exhumation could cause disruption to the peaceful tranquility of the Cemetery and those who are visiting to remember their loved ones.”



Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 8/10/19 – Puerto Vallarta

Special Guest
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Representative
Social: @VisitPuertoVallarta @PuertoVallarta

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Puerto Vallarta

Villa Premiere – Elegant, all-inclusive resort. Their gourmet plan includes 3 a la Carte restaurants, 24hrs room service, minibar, domestic & imported premium drinks, taxes & gratuities. Located on the beach, beautiful view.
Vallarta Food Tours – For The Street – An Evening Taco Adventure. Participants will sample an amazing variety of authentic regional eats. Full portion samples are included in the ticket price.
Gaby’s Restaurant – Begins at Puerto Vallarta’s market where participants pick out fresh ingredients for their 7-course meal. Back at the restaurant, participants make every part of a traditional Mexican feast.
Vallarta Botanical Gardens – A non-profit organization filled with beautiful plants as well as snorkeling opportunities. Enjoy lunch at their restaurant La Hacienda de Oro.
Marigalante Pirate Ship – Pirate Ship Vallarta Activities include dancing, games, contests, water sports like kayaking, banana boats, snorkeling, beach volleyball and buried treasure hunts.
Airport to Fly Into: PVR – Puerto Vallarta International Airport
Cost of Flights: $500+ from Chicgao
Also allow extra time for customs, both entering Mexico and returning home.
Don’t drink the water (or ice/frozen drinks)

Buenaventura All Inclusive – Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner buffet as well as a-la-carte specialty restaurants (previous reservation, seating based upon availability). Open Bar until 1am with domestic and imported beverages. Kayaking and Scheduled daytime activities also available. Taxes and tips included.
La Corona (at Villa Premiere) – sophisticated, trend-setting cuisine, this is a refined gourmet experience inspired by the traditional varieties of food.
Art Walk – Experience Puerto Vallarta’s bustling cultural life and unique art galleries.
Canopy River – Zipining, ATV rides where you can cross the Jorullo Bridge, the largest suspension bridge in the world.
Vallarta Adventures – Offers a wide selection of adventure-based tours and excursions for people of all ages – from zip lines to swimming with dolphins, whale watching to snorkeling, scuba diving.
Best Time to Visit: November – April
Remember to bring bug spray. Comfortable shoes, a bathing suit, and towel are also almost always a must.
Puerto Vallarta is on central standard time.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
Medpride Instant Cold Pack (5”x 6”)
$18.49 on Amazon Prime for set of 24 Disposable Cold Therapy Ice Packs for Pain Relief, Swelling, cooling off. No refrigeration needed. Activate the cold packs without freezing them.
Great for beating the heat of Puerto Vallarta!

What’s on your phone?
Mobile Passport App
With Mobile Passport, you fill out your flight information on your phone as soon as you land, answer the usual customs questions, and if you have nothing to declare, you’re issued an electronic receipt good for three hours. Makes for a more convenient traveling experience.

What’s the tip?
Airplane Etiquette
Be mindful of what you eat – No one wants to smell your pungent chili or taco salad!
Don’t chew gum loudly! It’s one thing to chew it to keep from your ears popping, but don’t annoy the people around you.
If you sit in a middle or aisle seat, don’t be annoyed when someone has to get up to go to the bathroom! That’s just part of the deal.
Don’t talk loudly – We don’t all need to hear your conversation!
Be polite – We’re all trying to have a relaxing flight and get to the same destination safely.
If you have kids, make sure they behave as well. We can’t help if the child is crying, but we can help how we handle it!



Special Guest
Eirene Heidelberger – Parenting Coach – GIT Mom – short for Get It Together, Mom!
Social: @GITMom

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Summer in Chicago

Accommodations: Radisson Blu in Chicago or any hotel with a rooftop
Restaurant: Benihana Chicago – Sushi and Japanese Steakhouse with a traditional teppanyaki experience
55th anniversary of Benihana which they’re celebrating with “55 Reasons to Indulge your Benihana Crave” which you can find at
Great place to bring the family. A truly interactive dining experience.
Conveniently located on Michigan Ave.
The restaurant also features a sushi bar, cocktail lounge and outdoor patio
Here’s a tip: If you’re driving, you can pay for your parking online at before your visit, which is convenient.
Rooftop Bar: Raised at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown
Summer Activities: Chicago Dogs
Located in Rosemont at Impact Field, just a short drive or El ride from the city.
Tickets are very reasonable, and they offer a variety of food packages and snacks
Right now they have a Friends & Family 4 Pack. $36 gets you 4 tickets, 4 hats, pizza
They also have fun events, like Bark at the Ballpark (next one is Sunday, Sept. 1)
Anti-Cruelty Society will be at those games to educate people on pet adoption.
Go to for game schedules and to buy tickets (Tickets range from $9 – $25)
Summer Festivals:
Festivals are a great way to enjoy Chicago summers.
Lollapalooza is happening this weekend and the Chicago Jazz Festival is August 23-Sept. 2 at Millennium Park
How to get around:
If you’re going out to see the Chicago dogs, you can even take the Blue Line El train from the city to Rosemont.
Be sure to stay hydrated and cool. Ice packs, neck fans and air conditioning! Museums are also a great place to stay cool in the summer.

Accommodations: The Ritz Carlton- Navy Pier suite
Restaurant: Pizzeria Portofino
Rooftop Bar: The Ritz Rooftop- Champagne Cart Thursdays and Sundays.
Summer Activities:
Chicago Cubs game
American Girl Store
Activities on the River (kayaking at night, boat rides)
Summer Event or Festival:
Chicago Gourmet Sep 27 – 29, 2019
Chicago Air and Water Show
Take the EL to and from the airports. Get a three day CTA pass. If you do drive, download the ParkChicago App.
Make sure your bag is small enough if going to bigger events like Soldier field and Cubs game. You can’t Bring in sunscreen spray to the cubs game. Check out River North or West Loop.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
Marika Workout Clothes – Available on Amazon
Marika features lightweight and seamless fabrics for ultimate support and comfort. Great for working out or adventuring around the city this summer. Shape enhancing leggings are crafted using patented technologies to flatten, slim and sculpt your figure.

What’s on your phone?
Uber Comfort – New version of Uber that Give Passengers More Control
Free on iOS and Android, with in-app purchases
Allows customers to request extra legroom, a specific car temperature, and other amenities right in the app. These features will mean your Uber Comfort ride might cost a little more than a regular Uber, but the luxurious may be worth it. Uber Comfort is now available in 40 markets around the nation including San Francisco, Los Angeles, D.C., and Chicago.

What’s the tip?
Best Free Things to do in Chicago this Summer
Chicago’s free beaches are a great way to spend the day in the sun
Lincoln Park Zoo – Great place to take the family
Garfield Park – A conservatory open rain or shine, with hundreds of different plants and flowers.
Morning Workouts on the Lawn – The Great Lawn at Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park. Free daily workout classes.
Chicago riverwalk – Great place to go for a stroll and take in the city
Rooftop bars – While you may have to buy a drink, these are great places to enjoy the city and great views with friends
Chicago SummerDance – Spirit of Music Garden, Grant Park – A 4,900-square-foot, open-air dance floor in Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden where professionals give one-hour dance lessons in styles like samba and tango, followed by two hours of live music and dancing. Complete schedule at
Free concerts and movies in Millennium Park – Check out for the lineup


Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 7/27/19 – Travel Tips


Special Guest
Ralph Velasco – Founder/CEO at PhotoEnrichment Adventures and Alla Campagna Experiences, and Creator of

Colleen & Catie’s Top Travel Tips

Packing Tips:
Make a packing list.
Cut what you think you need in half. Most people overpack. Also don’t bring things you rarely use but think you’ll start using now. You won’t.
Packing Cubes – Stay organized
Roll your clothes – Saves room, keeps the clothes smooth
Wrinkle-Free Spray for Clothes (Downy Wrinkle-releaser Plus or Best Eco-friendly Option: The Laundress Crease Release Classic)
Always pack at least one clean outfit and your essentials in your carry-on, just in case your checked bag gets lost.
Put dryer sheets in your suitcase to keep clothes smelling fresh
Money Saving Tips:
Don’t book third-party. Always call hotel directly for the best deal.
When you book a hotel, request a corner room. You’ll likely get a larger room with a view.
Get a hotel that has continental breakfast.
Call your credit card company before you travel to make sure they know you’ll be using your card in new locations. Also make sure there are no foreign transaction fees if you’re traveling out of the country.
Staying Healthy Tips:
Drink Emergen-C the days leading up to your trip
On a plane, drink water or hot beverages, like coffee or tea. Carbonation in soda can make you feel crummy on the flight.
Digestive Support – Add Digestive Enzymes to your food to help digest new foods not normally in your diet.
Sleep Support – Herbal Rest and Melatonin the Sound Slumber support is a one-two punch of herbal support and melatonin to help you rest easy while you are away from your own bed.
We also have a gadget to help with restful sleep while traveling that we’re going to tell you about in a little bit.
If you do get sick while in a foreign country, a lot of foreign countries do doctor house calls to the hotel.
Other Tips:
Take a picture of your passport and of your credit card (or at least save the numbers) and email them to yourself.
If traveling for business (or even pleasure) take pictures of all your receipts. You may think you’ll keep track of them but chances are you’ll lose one or two along the way.

Airport Tips:
Dress nicely, look polished, if you’re trying for an upgrade.
Wear slip-on shoes for going through security and have your laptop and tablet easily accessible.
If you fly often, consider TSA precheck so you don’t have to take off your shoes or take out your laptop.
Go to the left line in security. People often go right.
Sneak your stuff into a shopping bag – If you’re having trouble fitting everything in your carry-on, ask for a shopping bag at an airport store and putting your extra stuff in it. Gate agents will think it’s just some things you purchased, which they may not count against your carry-on allowance.
In-Flight Tips:
If you’re booking for two, book the window and aisle seats. If no one shows up for the middle seat, you’ve got extra room. If someone does show up, they’ll likely be happy to trade with you so you can sit next to your partner.
Bring a few granola bars and snacks in case you don’t like or want to purchase food on the plane.
What to wear traveling:
Simple, comfortable clothes that can be dressed up with accessories. You could wear the same black dress multiple times but with the right colorful scarf or jewelry it will look like a whole new outfit.
Comfortable shoes are a must!
Wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane so you don’t have to pack them.
Other Tips:
If you tend to overpack, consider investing in a digital scale so you can weigh your bag before arriving at the airport.
If you’re traveling with seniors or someone who has trouble working, you can reserve a wheelchair through your airline when you book your flight.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
SleepPhones: Effortless – Wireless headphones inside a headband
$129.95 on
SleepPhones®: Effortless™ features ultra-thin Bluetooth-enabled speakers inside of a soft and comfortable headband, while also introducing wireless induction technology for easy charging and a truly wireless user experience. Perfect for airline travel, noisy hotel rooms, etc

What’s on your phone?
Google Translate for iOS and Android – New and Improved
Google recently announced the service’s instant camera translations are getting even better.
The instant camera feature allows you to point your phone camera at foreign text and have it instantly translated into English. Great for traveling abroad.

What’s the tip?
Tips for Avoiding Losing your Jewelry or having it Stolen while Traveling
According to a recent study by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, 20% of people have experienced loss or theft of fine jewelry when traveling, which is up from 10% just four years ago.
27% of those travelers report losing their fine jewelry on the beach
Only 1% ever recover their jewelry that is lost or stolen on vacation.
Here’s what you can do to avoid jewelry theft while traveling…
Document your jewelry. As you’re packing, take a photo of the pieces you’re taking with you. If you need to file a police report for any reason, this proof of ownership will be very helpful.
Never put jewelry in a checked bag. Wear it or stow it in your carry-on bag and keep that bag in sight at all times.
Don’t share or post photos of your jewelry or where you are staying on social media.
Avoid wearing jewelry while swimming, especially in cold water where finger sizes can temporarily shrink.
Never leave jewelry out in the open in a hotel. Use the safe in your room or hotel vault.
Conceal Don’t Reveal: Tuck necklaces inside your shirt, turn your engagement ring to the inside of your hand and cover any bracelets or watches with a sleeve when in dangerous areas.
Thread necklaces through a paper straw: This will prevent them from being easily misplaced or tangled.


Marvel confirms next round of movies

Marvel Studios took to the stage at Comic-Con today to announce the next wave of Marvel movies.

“Phase Four” begins as expected with “Black Widow,” which has a release date of 5/1/20. “The Eternals” follows on November 6, 2020. The Eternals cast includes Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie.

February 21, 2021 brings “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” the studio’s first martial arts movie. The villain will be the real Mandarin, not the bogus one we saw in Iron Man 3.

Just a few months later, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” hits theaters, which was described on stage at Comic-Con as “the first scary MCU movie.” Scarlet Witch from the Avengers will appear in the Doctor Strange sequel.

Rounding out the 2021 film slate: Thor 4, more specifically, “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Also: NATALIE PORTMAN WILL BE THOR.

The panel ended with announcements that Fantastic Four, Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and Captain Marvel 2 are all on the way. And oh yeah, so’s a new “Blade” movie!

Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 7/20/19 – NYC and Anaheim


Special Guest
Dean Foster – Cultural concierge, Founder of DFA Intercultural Global Solutions and Host of the podcast Oops, Your Culture’s Showing!
Social: @deanfosterglobal

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for NYC and Anaheim

Colleen’s picks for Anaheim, CA
Accommodations: Marriott Anaheim – Close to Disney
Restaurant: The Ranch Restaurant – Farm-fresh, seasonal steak & seafood meals in an elegant interior.
Beach/Surfing lessons
Airport: John Wayne Orange County Airport – Close to Anaheim
How to get around? Stay close to Disney and you don’t have to rent a car.

Catie’s picks for New York City
Accommodations: Millennium Hilton New York Downtown
Restaurant: Piccola Cucina Osteria on Spring street in Soho
Activities: One World Observatory – Top of the World Trade Center – Sky high observatory deck
Airport: LaGuardia – Close to Manhattan- Come during off peak hours ideally to get to the. city easily.
How to get around NYC? Uber or The Subway is the best! So easy too. New York Subway MTA Map in the App Store
Any other tips for visiting NYC?
Take the Subway…use the App. So much easier. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Check out Brooklyn…Avoid Times Square unless you are a huge Broadway fan. It’s expensive.
Get last minute tickets at TKTS booth in Times Square for a Broadway show.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
LifeSaver 14 oz Liberty Bottle – Filter Water Bottle
$99 on
You can buy filter water bottles so you can have fresh, clean water wherever you travel in the world and no longer worry about whether or not it’s safe to drink. This water bottle filters out viruses and bacteria with just 3 pumps. Plus, it’s eco-friendly!

What’s on your phone?
Green Globe – Free on iOS, Android
Search hotels and attractions to make sure you’re using a service that is eco-friendly!

What’s the tip?
Tips for Using less plastic when you travel
Bring reusable bags for souvenirs so you’re not winding up with a bunch of plastic bags (especially if you’re going to the UK and want to avoid having to get an embarrassing plastic bag)
Bring a reusable water bottle. Just make sure it’s empty when you go through security at the airport, but after you get through there are usually plenty of water refill stations at the airport so you don’t have to buy a water bottle or use a cup on the plane.
Bring your own travel mug. If you bring your own cup to Starbucks, you’ll not only save a cup, but they’ll give you a 10 cent discount.
Bring your own reusable steel or metal straws.
If you’re doing a roadtrip, bring a large jug or cooler of water and refillable bottle so you can avoid stopping for bottles along the way.
Also bring your own food in tupperware containers on a road trip so you aren’t wasting paper and wrapping stopping at a fast food place.
Bring your own toiletries in reusable bottles, if possible, so you can avoid using the hotel bottles which are a major waste. You can even purchase shampoo bars, which are basically bars of shampoo. This saves plastic and is easy to transport.
Try to avoid single-use or disposable items, like razors. Invest in a razor that will last, or at least one where you only have to change the blade.
Bamboo toothbrushes are also a great investment, with an estimated 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes used every year.
nt, with an estimated 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes used every year.


Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 7/13/19 – Atlantis

Special Guest
Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas
Social: #BahamasAtHeart #BlueProjectAtlantis @AtlantisBahamas

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Atlantis Bahamas

Accommodations – Atlantis Royal Tower. Coral Tower is also a nice but slightly less expensive option.
Restaurants –
Fish – All the fish is fresh and never on ice. By ordering their lionfish, which is an invasive species, you’re actually helping the environment.
Casa D’Angelo – Delicious Italian food, cozy atmosphere
Twilight Snorkeling – Get to swim with a giant Manta Ray named Coco. Also swam with fish, sting rays, sharks. Portion of proceeds goes to Blue Project Foundation.
Waterpark – Slides you can go on where you are in the clear slide going past sharks, plus an awesome rapid river!
How to get around – Get an uber or ride service through Atlantis to the resort. If you want to leave the resort and go into downtown Nassau, you can take a cab but it’s expensive ($17 per person, roughly). Try a water taxi (about $2.50 per person each way).
Any other tips? Allow extra time to get through Nassau Airport (at least 3 hours).

Accommodations – Atlantis – Royal Tower
Restaurant – Chopstix – Delicious Chinese Restaurant on location.
Activities –
Releasing the turtles (Maui and Hawk) – $1200 for the turtle release experience, but a portion goes to Blue Project Foundation. Take you on a boat with the turtles (about 30 min out and back) then you get to release the turtles and snorkel with them.
Sun-up with Sealions at Dolphin Cay (“key”) – A caretaker introduces you to the seal ions (the one we met was Sunshine) then walks you through their morning checkup and routine. Portion of proceeds also go to the Blue Project Foundation.
Airport – Nassau (about twenty-thirty minutes from Atlantis)
How far in advance to book? A couple months ideally
Any other tips?
Atlantis is huge. Plan on some serious walking and make sure to allow time to get from one activity to another.
Be sure to book dinner reservations in advance. They book up quickly!

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
Sea Star Sparkle SPF 50+ Iridescent Glitter Sunscreen
Starts at $18.95 for 4 oz on
UVA/UVB Protection, water resistant up to 80 minutes, nourishing ingredients, PABA and Paraben free, Reef safe, no animal testing. Kids and teens will love it!

What’s on your phone?
PhotoCircle – Free for iPhone or Android
Great way to share your photos with people with you or back home during your vacation.
Everyone can add or download the photos that have been uploaded. Keeps all your group’s photos in one convenient place.

What’s the tip?
Tips for Visiting Atlantis Bahamas
Bring plenty of reef-safe sunscreen and a hat/sunglasses. It is very sunny. Also bring aloe in case you do burn.
Book your activities in advance.
Be prepared for VAT taxes on all your bills.
Gratuities of 15% are automatically added to each of your food bills. You can tip on top of this but don’t need to.
Pools close at 6pm
Check with the restaurants about the portion size. Virgil’s BBQ, for example, had family-style portions. Chop Stix didn’t. You can save money by splitting a large dish.
You can save money on drinks by buying a souvenir glass and bringing it to the refill station.
Consider WhatsApp for staying connected to those with you or back home
Bring more money than you think you’ll need
Bring your own medicines (allergy pills, tums, tylenol, etc.)
You do need your passport!