Solar-Powered Camping with Goal Zero’s Yeti 400 and Boulder 30 [REVIEW]

Solar-Powered Camping with the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator and Boulder 30 Solar Panel [REVIEW]

Phone, camera, Kindle, laptop… As a travel writer, I travel with these items almost daily. But the best destinations don’t come with power outlets, and camping without power limits you to the pre-charged power you brought along. That is, unless you have a generator.

Being as it would be impractical to purchase a large, noisy, fuel-powered generator for a quiet camping trip in a small car, and also wanting to be eco-conscious, I was eager to find an adequate off-grid power solution. My research directed me to Goal Zero’s on-the-go solar panels and batteries.  As a super environmentally-conscious solar power supporter, I so wanted to love everything about them — and I’m happy to say I came very close. Read on to discover our first experience with solar-powered camping and find out what wasn’t quite perfect about the particular setup we chose. Continue reading

Aspiring Light Packers, This Bag’s for You: Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack Review

Sea to Summit Ultrasil Packable Daypack Review

I’ve owned the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack for a year and a half, and it’s the one bag it took to convince me: Not all backpacks are created equal. Who knew it was possible to travel with two bags but only carry one? Perfect for urban exploring, day hikes, and even grocery shopping, aspiring light packers — this backpack’s for you.  Continue reading

Escape Campervans Review: Los Angeles to Death Valley (and why we don’t recommend Escape Campervans)

Escape Campervans Review and Our Trip to Death Valley

Let’s visit a popular U.S. National Park in peak season at the last minute! Yeah, that sounds like our travel style. And that’s how our conversation started two weeks back when we decided we had to see the Death Valley Superbloom.

All advance reservations for park accommodations were full. We could try our luck at a first-come first-served campsite, but we didn’t really feel up to tent camping this trip. So we decided to try something new: the rental campervan.

Despite paying more than we should have (no thanks to Escape), we had a good time on our trip. Want to know what the campervan life is like? Keep reading to find out! (More on why we don’t recommend Escape Campervans, too.) Continue reading

A Traveler’s Review of the GoPro HERO4 Session (and 5 Reasons to Choose It Over the Black and Silver)

GoPro HERO4 Session: A Traveler's Review

Compact: check. Lightweight: check. Waterproof: check.

These are three VERY important characteristics when it comes to a travel camera (and three key areas where the Session beats the other GoPro cameras HANDS DOWN). However, there are several GoPro options available today, and it can be tricky to determine which one to choose.

We spent the last month testing out the new GoPro HERO4 Session (on loan courtesy of B&H Photo), and [SPOILER ALERT] we liked it! But is the GoPro HERO4 Session the best GoPro camera choice for you? Let’s find out!  Continue reading

7 Reasons to Try Eco Vessel’s Aqua Vessel Filtration Water Bottle… Plus a REVIEW of My Experience Using It

Eco Vessel Aqua Vessel Ultra Lite Filtration Bottle Review

Eco Vessel provided me with a Aqua Vessel Ultra Lite filtration water bottle for the purpose of completing a review. You’ll find my complete, unbiased review here in this article — alongside the reasons I wanted to try this bottle myself. All comments I share in this post are my honest opinions of my experiences using the Eco Vessel filtration water bottle.  Continue reading

Sony RX100 III Review: Why It’s the Best Travel Camera I’ve Ever Had (and Why I Sold My a6000 to Buy It)

Sony RX100 III real world review of the best travel camera I've ever owned


Before I met Ian, the nicest camera I ever owned was probably the one on my cell phone. Well, he fixed that faster than you can say “interchangeable lenses,” and gave me my first digital SLR (a Canon T2i) after just two months of us being together. That was three years ago. Since then, the digital cameras I’ve “owned” include a Canon EOS M, a Sony a6000, and finally, my beloved Sony RX100 III. The T2i was a great camera to learn on, the EOS M I never really grew fond of, and the a6000? It was GREAT! Until I tried the RX100 III and just HAD to have that instead. Keep reading to find out why AND to see my favorite photos I’ve taken with this camera.  Continue reading

[VIDEO & REVIEW] Sky Adventures Ziplining, Gondola & Hanging Bridges (Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica)

Sky Adventures review and video at Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Accustomed to urban life after two weeks in Costa Rica’s central valley, Ian and I were eager for a nature adventure.  We set off for Volcán Arenal, a volcano situated among a beautiful rainforest and mountain landscape, near the developing tourist town of La Fortuna.

Our hotel — booked, as usual, through Airbnb — had the best view I’ve ever seen from a hotel room. A list of nearby tourist activities included kayaking, a chocolate tour, rappeling down waterfalls… there was a full page of options. With one day allotted for adventure activities, we chose a ziplining tour. (Neither of us had ever been!) Watch the video here!  Continue reading

Toucan Rescue Ranch Review: Our First Encounter with a SLOTH… and other animals (San Isidro, Costa Rica)

Toucan Rescue Ranch review: our first encounter with a SLOTH... and other animals (San Isidro, Heredia, Costa Rica)

I have a new obsession. If you follow us on Facebook, you already know what it is. (Here’s a hint: They’re four-legged, furry, and have a reputation for moving rather slowly.)  Continue reading

Cafe Britt Coffee Tour Review: An Entertaining and Caffeinating Experience (Heredia, Costa Rica)

Cafe Britt Coffee Tour Review: an entertaining and caffeinating experience (Heredia, Costa Rica)

I still remember my first sip of coffee from my dad’s mug when I was a kid. I thought it was disgusting. It’s a bit like beer: you don’t really develop a taste for it until college. By now I must have brewed hundreds of batches and ordered hundreds of cups at local shops, but I didn’t know how coffee was made until we took a tour at Cafe Britt in Heredia, Costa Rica.

In this review of the Cafe Britt Classic Coffee Tour, you’ll find an overview of our tour experience and my thoughts on the tour. Is it worth seeing? Is it worth the price? I’ll answer these questions here. You may also see a photo of a cute fuzzy that made a brief appearance — giving our tour an extra splash of flavor. Continue reading

Sony a6000 Review: A Stylish Travel Camera (from StylishTravelGirl.com)

Sony a6000 Review: A Stylish Travel Camera

*This article originally appeared on my new blog, Stylish Travel Girl.

I’ve been experimenting with a variety of camera set-ups the last few years. (Since Ian’s a photographer, the opportunity to try new camera gear is always there.) For me, the Sony a6000 takes the cake. It’s got all the right bells and whistles — no tacky gimmicks — and is an easy-to-use, fashionable tool for documenting my travels.  Continue reading