6 Ways to Sleep Better At a Hotel

WAYS TOsleep BETTER IN A HOTEL

I love to travel. However, when I think about trying to get a good night’s rest while while away from home I cringe.  Hundreds of travelers would love to feel well-rested throughout their trip, but most find themselves longing for the comforts of home.  Here are a few tips to help you maximize your sleep while traveling.

people in elevators

  • No elevators, please!

This tip comes from experience.  The elevator is a high traffic area.  If your room is too close to the elevator  you run the risk of hearing people climb onto and off of the elevator.  This may not seem like an issue during the day, but in the evening it can be annoying. There are conversations while people wait for the elevator and people clunking their luggage onto and off the elevator. My fix to avoid being stuck near the elevator: When making your reservation, ask for a room away from the elevator.  It really is that simple.  Every time I have placed this in the “Request” section of my reservation I’ve been booked into a room away from the potentially noisy elevator.

blackout curtains

  • Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains are a life-saver in hotel rooms.  All modern hotels should have them.  They help to block out all light from entering your room and keeping you awake.  Blackout curtains can be utilized during the day as well if you’re crossing time zones.  Also, they can help to keep your room temperature cool which can benefit you while you’re sleeping.

desk fan

  • Personal Fan

I once saw an older gentleman bring an 18-inch stand fan into the hotel.  He was obviously driving and not flying.  But this guy is an experienced traveler and he knows that some hotel rooms simply don’t get cold enough to feel comfortable while sleeping.  This may seem like an odd object to throw in your luggage, but hear me out. If you sleep with a fan blowing on you at home, like myself, then you’re probably going to miss having that cooling sensation flowing over you.  If you have room in your luggage, then you should definitely consider including a small desk fan.

earplug

  • Earplugs

Sometimes you have a noisy neighbor.  You call the front desk and nothing seems to change.  Maybe you even booked a hotel room near a busy street.  Having a set of earplugs with you is very helpful to cancel out the noise.  They are inexpensive and come in varying sizes and colors. Also, earplugs can come in handy while flying.

eye mask

  • Eye mask

An eye mask may seem a little diva-ish. However, if you’re sharing a room with someone an eye mask is nice to have.  You may be ready to call it a night and your roommate may want to stay up a little longer and watch television or Face-time with a loved one from home.  Eye masks, like earplugs, can aide in allowing you to get the restful sleep that you need.

melatonin

  • Medicated Sleep Aide

I am a little reluctant to include this on the list of helpful tips.  Using medications to help with sleep is controversial to some.  I’ve used melatonin in the past to help me fall asleep and stay asleep.  This is only a temporary fix.  If sleep is something you can’t do without while you’re away from home, a sleep aide may help you.  If you’re going to use a sleep aide make sure you do your research and follow the instructions provided on the package.  I would encourage you not to take any type of pharmaceutical sleep aide while traveling alone.

Hopefully, these tips work for you and you get better sleep while you’re away from the comforts of home.

Keshia

 

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Skin Care Travel Essentials

So Glam

Maintaining healthy skin while traveling can seem like an impossible task. However, with the proper planning it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a list of items that can help you stay “fresh-faced” while on the go.

pore strips 1

  • Pore Strips

Pore strips are a life saver if you’re susceptible to blackheads like myself. They cling to oily pores and remove deep embedded oil and dirt. They come in several options with varying prices. They are easy to pack. Slip a package of pore strips into your carry-on bag and it should last you the duration of your trip.

face brush2

  • Exfoliator

Whether it’s a battery operated spin brush, a hand facial brush, or face wash with micro-beads, something to exfoliate your face is needed. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin and pesky dirt. It also helps with blood circulation to areas of the face. Exfoliation is the best way to achieve glowing skin while on the road.

Clean & Clear-persa-gel_1

  • Spot Acne Treatment

Pimples are no fun when traveling. The last thing you want when interacting with people is a mountain protruding through your skin. A handy spot acne treatment can help to minimize the look of your pimples and shorten their lifespan. Most spot acne treatments are inexpensive. Regardless of the price, it’s nice to have the insurance of having the product with you if needed.

Witch Hazel

  • Cleaner/Astringent

Obviously one of the main keys to traveling with clear skin is making sure you cleanse your skin. Water, which is inexpensive and easily attainable, will typically suffice. If you feel you need something stronger, consider bringing a cleansing product that doubles as a toner. A good example of this is witch hazel. Witch hazel is a natural astringent that removes bacteria and balances the pH levels of the skin.

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  • Sunscreen

Sunscreen is an often overlooked element of good skin care. Protecting your skin from the sun is important. That goes for all shades of skin. Some can get away with a lower SPF number than others. Find one that works for you and your travel buddies. If you want to save room in your carry-on bag or luggage, consider purchasing your sunscreen at the hotel or hostel once you arrive at your destination.

oil absorbing sheet

  • Oil Absorbing Sheets

Oil absorbing sheets have been a must-have for me when I travel. They’re so convenient. They are easy to pack and you can use them anywhere. If you have oily or combination skin, then you should consider throwing a pack in your purse, carry-on bag, or luggage.

  • Additional Things To Consider
  1. Drink Water – Avoid sugary drinks and juices. Some are sensitive to sugary, carbonated beverages. The results of too much sugar can show up on your skin.
  2. Loose Fitting Clothing – If you are prone to body acne then remember to wear loose fitting clothing that allows skin to breathe.
  3. Travel Size Bottles – Travel size bottles come in all shapes and colors. Most are TSA approved, so there is less worry about being pulled aside at the airport.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Safe travels!

Keshia

Denver, CO REMIX

 

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

I think it’s safe to say that David and I have fallen in love with Denver, CO. Or at least “in like” with the scenic city. Spring Break of 2018 we decided to return to the beautiful Rocky Mountain and Mile High state of Colorado. As you may have picked up on, we have visited Denver, CO once before. However, this time we were determined to see more of the mountainous area outside the city.

We stayed in the suburban city of Aurora, CO during this trip. The trip from Aurora to Estes Park in Colorado was about 1.5 hours. Although that seems like a long time, because of the scenic view it was an enjoyable trek to the mountains. The winding roads up the mountains guided through the beautiful mountain range.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

The park was busy with people looking to enjoy the mountains just like us. We stopped by the tourism office to get a map and some pointers from the park ranger. Once we entered the park we got lost, lol. We missed our turn to a beginners trail. However, we didn’t let that detour us from enjoying the historic park.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

Once we found a good stopping point, we hopped out of the car and explored more on foot. Due to heavy snow fall the days prior, several trails and roads were closed for safety. The snow definitely added to the beauty of the mountainside. We walked for quite a ways and took in the sights and fresh air.

If Rocky Mountain National Park isn’t on your road trip bucket list, it should be!

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photo: Colormyfoootsteps

If you’re looking for some extra family-friendly fun, then stopping by the Denver Zoo is for you. We found it affordable for the two of us (I believe it was no more than $25 for us both). The weather was beautiful and the animals were out basking in the sun as well. The Denver Zoo has a wide range of animals, from gorillas to polar bears. We also got a chance to feed some hungry birds (I believe they were parakeets).

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

We decided to stop by one of Denver’s oddities, The International Church of Cannabis. People who attend the services are Elevationists and they believe that marijuana allows them to form a closer connection to a higher power. From the outside this sanctuary is very unassuming. However, once you enter the chapel it is a sight to see for sure. The walls are very brightly and intricately painted by artist Kenny Scharf. Apparently the building has had several purposes before becoming a church. At one time is was even a school. It is free to enter the church on designated days for tourists. They do however ask for a $5 donation.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

Denver, CO is a great place to visit if you want a great blend of city and nature. It is easy to find something for everyone to enjoy.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy where you’re at and where you be!

The Blue Whale of Catoosa, OK

The famous U.S. Route 66 was established in 1926 and nicknamed the Mother Road by some. The highway runs from Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. There are several attractions along the route to entertain travelers. One of the various attractions is the Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

The Blue Whale is the romantic gesture and creation of Hugh S. Davis, a zoologist, for his wife and eventually put to use by his grandchildren. Over the years the Blue Whale and the pond it rests within were used by the community as a swimming spot during the warm summer months.

I know it might sound surprising, but this is the first time David and I have seen the Blue Whale in person. The Blue Whale is easy to find as it is located directly next to the highway. There is a gravel parking lot and a simple gated entrance to the small park next to the pond and highway attraction. There is a small gift shop, picnic tables, and restrooms.

 

The Blue Whale is approximately 46 years old and has been renovated over the years. It is pretty cool to walk inside the large structure. I can only imagine how magical it could feel as a child to enter something so unique.

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If you are travelling along the famous highway and plan to travel through Catoosa, it would be a great photo opportunity to stop by the Blue Whale.

Thanks for reading!

Black Travel Bloggers You Should Know

COLORMYFOOTSTEPS.COM

We out here y’all!

Black travel aficionado’s are all over. Thanks to social media platforms, like Instagram, it’s more common to see people of color from the USA hanging out and exploring foreign lands. I have to admit I smile from ear-to-ear when I see people who look like me boarding a flight to a different country or embracing different cultures where they don’t see a familiar face.

I decided to share some of the black travel buffs that I have come across through social media over the years.

Brian – Beyond BMore

 

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photo: beyondbmore.com

I stumbled upon Brian via a YouTuber I follow, TheChicNatural, a few years ago. If you can’t tell by the name, Brian is from Baltimore, MD. Years ago, Brian made the decision to explore beyond the dicey streets and neighborhoods he knew and see what the other streets, cities, and countries across the globe had to offer. Brian has traveled to 31 countries (feel free to say “Whoa”) and doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon.

Ashlee – Will Drink For Travel

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photo: willdrinkfortravel.com

The social media handle alone should make you smile Will Drink For Travel. Sign me up! I found Ashlee sometime ago, via Instagram, and was instantly intrigued. Ashlee provides her own perspective on travelling with one of the main focuses being tasty and flavorful food and of course drinks. Her website includes drink recipes, most inspired by different regions across the globe. Whether solo or in groups, she always seems to end up in the best places.

Tracey – Brooklyn Travel Addict

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photo: brooklyntraveladdict.com

Tracey may look familiar. I’ve featured her in a blog post before. If that’s not where you recall her face, then you may know her as one of the creative minds behind Curlfest. The annual event to celebrate curly hair. Tracey inspires me so much and I can’t help but to live vicariously through her social media posts, at least until I can do my own travelling. She always offers the best insight on places and events. From Cuba, India, and South Africa…she’s been there and done that.

Kellee – Kellee Set Go!

kellee

photo: kelleesetgo.com

I’ve been fan-girling over Kellee for quite sometime. She’s a pilot, deep-sea diver, and all around adrenaline junkie, and I love it. Did I mention she’s also the host of the Travel Channel show Mysterious Islands? She’s been to at least 35 countries. Yep, 35! To see a black woman accomplishing so much and not slowing down for a minute is exciting. If she doesn’t compel you to try new things, than I don’t know who will.

This list only scrapes the surface of black travel influencers out there. If you’re looking for inspiration or tips don’t hesitate to look these people up. There is so much more world out there than what we see with our own eyes everyday.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Holiday Travel Tips

PRODUCTIVITY AND FOCUS

That time of the year is back!

It’s time to begin holiday travel preparation. I thought I would offer you all a few tips that I have for travelling during the holiday season. The objective is to make your travels as smooth as possible.

Flight Tips

  • Book Wisely

Plane tickets are not cheap. I think we are all very aware of this. If you’re traveling solo for the holidays then you may feel a little more comfortable waiting until the last minute to book your travel, which could result in higher costs. However, if you are travelling in a group then you probably want to hop online and book as soon as you can. Most websites stated that Tuesday is the best day during the work week to book travel and Friday is the best day on the weekend to book travel.

  • Dress Comfy

We’ve all seen them. The people who are overdressed at the airport. You would think they were about to climb onto a private jet or something. There’s really no need in over doing it. Besides, when you pass through security you want as little fuss as necessary. You also want to be comfortable in your seat, especially if you’re not flying first class.

  • Charge Devices

Admit it…you need it! That tablet, laptop, and/or phone is something that you need when travelling. If you’re travelling with children, it’s nice to have something to keep them entertained. Trust me, the other passengers will appreciate it. Make sure all of the devices you are bringing along are charged and ready for use. Also make sure your portable chargers are ready as well. Don’t forget earphones!

  • Pack Efficiently

Make sure to plan out your attire before you pack. Make adequate use of the space within your luggage so you can fit everything you need inside. If there is a possibility that you will be shopping or receiving a lot of gifts while away then make sure to leave space in your luggage for additional items you’ll return home with. If you know there won’t be enough room in your luggage, then consider purchasing additional luggage for your new items. Better yet don’t forget you can also have the items shipped to you instead of worrying about checking them in at the airport.

  • Ready Your Snacks

Airport food is pricey, especially if you’re travelling with children. Consider bringing along snacks to make things a little easier on your wallet. Please be considerate of others when bringing food onto a plane. Not everything smells yummy in a small confined space like an airplane. Keep your snack choice simple.

Road Trip Tips

  • Safety Supplies Handy

It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Make sure before you set out on the road that you have all your safety supplies. Have a spare tire and a car-jack. Also have blankets, a flashlight, and water for those just in case moments if you happen to have a long wait for the tow truck. If you have AAA or any type of Road Side Assistance from your car insurance, have that information handy.

  • Plan Route

Thanks to technology, GPS is available at our fingertips at all times. However, it’s always nice to have an idea of the area(s) you’ll be passing through while travelling. Be aware of all the main highways you’ll be using during your trip. You never know when you might hit a dead-zone and have bad reception.

  • Set The Tunes

Get your master playlist ready! Cruising to your favorite music is a lifesaver when stuck in a car for hours. Have a few different playlists on deck to suit everyone.

Additional Tips

  • Bring Ear Plugs – they take some getting used to, but they can be super helpful.
  • Sickness Medications – if you suffer from motion sickness, make sure you keep your remedies handy.
  • Patience – be considerate of others and remember to spread love and cheer.

Hopefully, a few of the tips are helpful. Enjoy your holidays!

May Photo Wrap-Up 2017

Hey y’all hey!

I can’t believe it, but it’s the end of May! To be honest, I had a somewhat uneventful month. But none the less I took a few pictures here and there and put up a few videos!

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=wPvbL9zxWac

One of the most important things I did in May was celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom! We had a great time hanging out in downtown Tulsa at the Guthrie Green. We also had good food and great conversations.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

If you have been to downtown Tulsa lately than you must have noticed the addition of artwork on the walls of several buildings. I personally love the colorful additions to downtown. The artwork really brings a new energy to downtown Tulsa.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

My sweet tooth has been in overdrive lately. Although it’s still chocolate I decided to try a gluten free option. This one was actually pretty tasty.

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=POXtMKiTJsU

David and I stopped by the Bixby Barbecue Festival. We enjoyed great food (we really stuffed ourselves). If you are in the area, I suggest stopping by next year to see the festival and eat some great barbecue. The event is very family friendly.

I hope you had a great month of May. I look forward to awesome adventures in the month of June.

How To Save Money For Travel

 

How To Sav Money For Travel

Have you ever scrolled through someone’s social media page and wondered how they seem to always be somewhere awesome? I’m sure you have. We all have! I’ve even gone as far as to drop whatever Iwas doing and hop onto an airline website to see how much tickets were to a far away place. Only to slowly fall back into reality when I realize that even if with the cheapest tickets I still would be digging deep into my bank account to pay for the trip. Since beginning this blog I have racked my brain with ways I can save money to pay for my travel adventures. I hope you find at least one option on my list helpful when you need to come up with funds for travel.

  • A Piggy Bank

piggy bank

I know, I know a piggy bank sounds a bit ridiculous. However, I am referring to a direct deposit account either with your bank or an online banking service. Direct deposits are typically automatic and are electronic. Since you don’t see the cash you’re less tempted to spend money. An example of a good online banking service is Smarty Pig. Smarty Pig allows you to set up an account (using your typical personal information), choose where the money is deposited from and what your goal is. It will keep track of your money and give you an estimate of how long it will take you to reach your goal. Once you have reached your goal you can close the goal and receive your money (give or take a few days).

  • Odd Jobs

dog walker

We all have talents and gifts. Why not put those talents to use to earn some travel dough? If you’re computer savvy you can sign up on websites like Fiverr. Fiverr is a company that allows people looking for help with technology based projects find and pay those who are skilled in that area. If you’re not big into technology there are other things you could do. For instance if you love animals you can walk dogs and/or pet-sit. If animals are not your thing, you can also offer to be a personal assistant for a family member or friend. You could pick up their dry cleaning, drop their kids off at school or do their grocery shopping. Most family members and friends may feel reluctant to allow you to do that but once you explain what the money will be used for they should understand and be willing to help you out.

  • Sell Your Junk

resell

A quick way to make a few bucks is to sell items that you no longer need. Make a sign, set your things outside on the lawn and sell away! A yard sell is a quick and simple way to sell items. If a yard sale is not your speed you can sale unwanted or old clothing to clothing resale stores. If you have electronics that you no long want you can sell those items on Ebay or even your local pawn shop.

  • Clock In

job

It’s not something that most of us want to do. However, sometimes we have to put the rubber to the road, pull our sleeves up, burn the midnight oil, and…well…you know what I mean. Sometimes your best bet is to get a temporary or part-time job. I say temporary or part-time because I’m assuming most people reading this already have a full-time job or maybe go to school full-time. Temporary jobs (sometimes called seasonal jobs) are great because they are exactly that…temporary. The hours you spend working will help your travel budget and there is no long-term commitment in place. A part-time may have a little more commitment involved but you won’t have to spend grueling long hours a day working. If you put the money you earn at these jobs towards travel you will be on your way in no time.

   Traveling takes the ink out of one’s pen as well as the cash out of one’s purse.
– Herman Melville

 

There are other options for saving money to use for travel adventures. I hope the ones I listed here are helpful to you. Thanks for reading!

 

April Photo Wrap-Up 2017

Hey everyone!

The time has arrived once again for the monthly Photo Wrap-Up. So here’s a peek at what went on with me throughout the month of April!

Before I get carried away with this post I should mention my Spring Favorites video. Just in case you missed it!

Now on to the rest of April!

David and I visited the most iconic waterfall in Northeast Oklahoma, Natural Falls. The area was very beautiful and worth a trip if you’re in the area.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

As you know, David and I are definitely foodies. We strayed away from our typical breakfast spot, Village Inn, and decided to eat at IHOP (Internal House of Pancakes). Let’s just say a buy one meal get one free coupon may have seductively influenced that decision.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

I am doing much better handling my stress levels at work. March was a hard month for me. However, I am pushing through. Like the saying goes, once you’ve hit the bottom the only place to go is UP!

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

We enjoyed a wonderful Easter weekend. It was a little rainy, but that is typical for Oklahoma weather around this time. I can’t complain. I also began my manual car lessons. I never thought that I would be learning how to drive a stick shift in my 30’s.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

I got a much needed hair trim. Sometimes it’s the little things that really add up and make a difference. I am really enjoying my hair now. This natural hair journey is not always easy. There are times I get so frustrated but there are times that are completely great! You have to take the bad with the good. Enjoy the good times while you can.

Thank you guys for reading! You are awesome! YES YOU!

You can find Colormyfootsteps on Facebook and Instragram!

Iconic Oklahoma Waterfall – Natural Falls

COLORMYFOOTSTEPS

One of the most iconic waterfalls is located in Northeastern Oklahoma. Natural Falls is a well-known waterfall that is 77 feet tall and located in a quiet wooden area.

David and I made the 30 minute drive from Tulsa to the park that surrounds the waterfall near West Siloam Springs on the border of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Once you enter the park you’re greeted by a park guide who gives you instructions on where to park and takes your admission (it is $5 per car to enter the park). After that you are free to roam the park. That includes enjoying a picnic, Frisbee golf or barbecuing. There is also a RV park available (inquire before arriving about the cost to park your RV).

 

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

 

There are two trails available if you want to view the waterfall. One trail is the less scenic route and is a straight shot to the waterfall. The other trail guides you over several short bridges and down a few paths to the waterfall. There is also a viewing area at the base of the waterfall if you would like a closer look.

 

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

The park is an awesome location for some family fun outdoors and I believe it is worth the trip and the $5.

The YouTube video of our trip can be found here