Creator Series: Travel Photographer Andrew Ling talks adventure

As a design-forward brand, we’re proud to see that our LARQ Bottles have become the number one choice for a broad range of creatives in various industries. We see you guys creating imagery, videos, and graphics for your LARQ on Instagram and we’re loving it. 

So in honor of you guys, we’re putting together this all-new Creator Series to peer into the lives of some of our most talented LARQ ambassadors. Kicking off this week’s Creator Series is a travel and commercial photographer based in Seattle, Washington, USA, Andrew Ling. Ling captures the essence of adventure beautifully in his work–capturing moments in nature we have never seen before. 

Say hi to Andrew:

Travel Photographer Andrew Ling

How did you get started in photography? What most interested you about shooting landscapes and nature?

I wasn’t very exposed to the outdoors until I was in school at the University of Washington. Even though I studied finance and marketing there, I met friends who introduced me to this new world. I was eager to capture my new experiences to share with friends and family at home.


How would you describe your photography style? How has it changed over the years?

To me, it’s always important to capture moments as they are. People will always connect with stories that are more genuine. Over the years, I’ve learned that it’s so important to take time to get to know your subject and what you’re shooting. Listen first, then shoot.


Tell us about one of your favorite outdoor adventures. What made this trip memorable?

Iceland in the winter of 2018, with two of my colleagues who are also two good friends of mine. During their worst storm of the year, we were snowed in for several days at a remote cabin. The storms throughout our trip made for some beautiful light.


What’s in your camera bag right now?

Phase One XT/IQ4, Rodenstock 32mm HR f/4, Sony A7R bodies, Sony 24mm GM f/1.4, Sony 85mm GM f/1.4 are some of my favorite prime lenses right now and a variety of zoom lenses when necessary. And, the LARQ Bottle Movement in Black/Clay. 


What do you like to do in your free time?

Spend time with my family/friends/loved ones. Hike, climb, exploring places that push the limits. Working on my truck, learning new things. Fishing and golfing are two recent activities that I’ve picked up and am working on to improve.

LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Pine. Photographed by Andrew Ling
Photographed by Andrew Ling // Pictured: LARQ Bottle Movement in Black/Pine

How do you stay hydrated on the go? What do you love about LARQ?

I’m a hydration freak. I truly believe water to be the key essential. I love that LARQ allows me to have access to safe water anywhere, and everywhere!


Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.

I love country music.


What kind of causes or nonprofits do you support? Why are they important to you?

Providing clean water for others. Too often, I think we all take for granted the level of access to clean water we have. I think it’s important that people all around the world at least have that access, and that is the foundation for good health which in turn is the foundation for quality of life for billions around the world.


What do you like most about what you do?

I’m lucky to be able to work in some of the most remote, and beautiful places in the world. It always inspires me to hear others that are inspired to go out and do more, to see more, to explore more.


Name 3 of your favorite locations you’ve shot. Why were these your favorite?

 Alaska, Montana, and Patagonia (Chilean Patagonia) for all the same reasons. How wild they are. To me, they are a reminder of why we need to protect our planet.


What is your dream location to shoot? Why?

I’ve yet to have an opportunity to go to Antarctica. The highest, driest, coldest, and most isolated continent is a place I’d love to tell a story about. 


If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Why?

Montana, or Alaska. They’re a great combination of having large enough cities, mixed with some of the wildest places the world has to offer. A great mix of seasons and activities as well.


What are 5 things you can’t live without?

 Family, creativity, challenges, hot sauce & my partner, Makenzie.


Find Andrew Ling’s work on Instagram @andrewling and on his website,





9 Eco-friendly Earth houses you can rent on Airbnb

If your idea of a getaway means literally getting away from the business of the modern world, book your next vacation in an Earth house or an eco-friendly Airbnb. Earth houses are homes that are sustainably made with natural materials. Some of the features on this list include Earth homes that are located on beaches, islands, mountains, forests–you name it. 

It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day, so reconnecting with nature is oftentimes the therapy we all need. Maybe that’s the tree-hugger in us talking but we’re huge fans of this Earth and if we can marry the idea of adventure, sustainability, and design together, we will. And that’s how this post was born. 

Up next, you’ll read about some of the most remarkable homes we could find on Airbnb that are eco-conscious and promise the tranquility that nature has to offer. Plus, there’s a little something in here (aesthetically-speaking) for everyone. 

Architectural wonder in the forest

El Cope, Panonome, Cocle, PanamaInifinity Pool of Home in Panama

If unique architecture and eco-design really tickle your fancy, this Earth home secluded in El Cope, Panama is for you. It’s truly a getaway as it is tucked away in the near the Omar Torrijos national park, called “a cloud forest” by its Airbnb host. The home has features in various architectural magazines hailing from the US and Europe and surely one to see. You’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the luscious landscape while lounging in the home’s saltwater infinity pool. You will also enjoy nearby hikes, waterfalls, and birdwatching–our kind of vacation if you ask us. 

Hygge Hobbit Haven 

Orondo, WashingtonHobbit House in Washington, US

With an uncanny likeness to our favorite Hobbit house, you can live out your best life in this cozy and fantastical one-bedroom home. It’s a 2-mile drive up a remote hill, but when you get to the top, the view is breathtaking. The home is complete with the iconic round green door, and barrel-shaped architecture. The furnishings only make it that much more magical. It’s also pet-friendly! 

Tranquil Balinese Eco-dome

Bali, Indonesia

Eco-friendly sustainable bamboo dome bungalow in Bali, Indonesia

For anyone who wants to be immersed in the natural surroundings Bali has to offer, this eco-friendly bungalow is a must-stay. It’s a BioArchitectural dome made from bamboo and other natural materials. It’s equipped with a luxurious California King size bed, skylight, bird’s eye view of the landscape, and plenty of power outlets and access to wi-fi. But let’s be real–in a place like this, you don’t want to be on your phone the entire time. 

Villa Aalaya

Ubud, Indonesia

earth house villa in ubud, indonesia with outdoor pool and tropical view

Villa Aalaya is Sanskrit for “home”, but don’t be fooled–this site is probably your dream home. It comprises of three antique teak buildings. The first is a daytime space that includes the kitchen, dining and living rooms. Another building is complete with three bedrooms, a TV area, a library, and two upper-level spaces for working, meditation, or whatever suits your fancy. Lastly, there is a private bedroom with its own private outdoor bathroom and veranda. 

Eco-Loft Bamboo Bungalow

Tambon Ko Phy-ngan, Thailand 

eco-loft thailand bamboo bungalow bedroom

Tucked away in a tropical garden by the sea, the Eco Loft is a beautiful eco-retreat in Thailand. It’s made entirely of bamboo and wood so you’ll get the feel of living right in nature. The bungalow features a gorgeous sea view from the upper level complete with a balcony that overlooks the canopy of trees and the nearby beach. 

Agave Moon

Porto, Portugaleco-chic apartment in portugal

On the smaller scale, this doesn’t qualify as an Earth home, but it’s important to call out hosts that create eco-conscious homes. This eco-chic apartment located conveniently in Porto, Portugal features eclectic decor that blends modern and traditional Portuguese styles. The space is light and airy and includes all of the essential amenities. It’s nestled in a traditional part of Porto which is home to many family-owned shops and restaurants, so if you want to live as the locals do, this is the spot. This part of Porto offers serene, quiet nights and it’s just a short walk from shopping and bar streets. 

Spacious Sustainable Earth House

Bonogin, Queensland, Australiaspacious villa with natural chemical-free pool

This large property is a unique retreat centered on sustainability. It’s an oasis in the Mudgeeraba forest with rammed earth walls, recycled timber, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a chemical-free 10-meter pool. Immerse yourself in nature in this beautiful villa and you’ll enjoy it. The property is a 22-minute drive from the Gold Coast, so it’s a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of the area. 

Idylle Maison 

Matera, Italyminimalist clay interior - home in madera, italy

If you keen to live like the Italians do in a romantic bright and airy home, Idylle Maison will surely be a treat. It’s thoughtful furnishings and bedding make it a space you want to surrender to. It’s minimalist, calming, private and surrounded by gorgeous views of Matera’s skyline.

Canava Villas II in Medieval Village 

Emporio, Santorini, Greece

earth house in greece with outdoor patio viewIf tranquil surroundings away from busy city streets are your idea of a vacation, look no further. Canava Villas II is situated in Emporio, Santorini’s largest village, is set on a hill overlooking the town and nearby sea. The home’s design is thoughtful and accents natural stone walls. However, it’s not short of creature comforts like an outdoor patio with a jet plunge pool among many other amenities. 


With sustainability at the forefront, we’re seeing a lot more eco-friendly homes popping up for rent on Airbnb and we dig it. Have you ever just typed “Anywhere” in the search bar? For your next adventure, go the road less traveled and take a few friends along for the ride. Which of these is your next eco-getaway? 


How to overcome travel anxiety

If you’re struggling with travel anxiety, know that you’re not alone! In fact, it’s totally normal and you’re probably better off than people who aren’t stressed at all. If the type of anxiety you are dealing with is related to running late, forgetting things, navigating foreign countries, not knowing the right language, or even aerophobia (fear of flying), you might want to try these simple hacks that will help you overcome them.

What to do if you’re worried about being late for your flight:

  • Estimate your time of arrival days before your trip. Google Maps is pretty accurate when it comes to estimating the time it takes you to get from one destination to another. Select the date and time you are planning to arrive at the airport and it’ll give you an estimated time it would take to get there. To be extra careful you can even add 10-15 minutes to the longest duration.
  • Make a list – and check it twice or thrice. A packing list is absolutely essential when it comes to reducing anxiety, saving time, and remembering to bring everything you need. Organize the list by clothing, toiletries, electronics and chargers, documents and in-flight essentials. It’ll help you split up the packing process too.
  • Start packing days in advance in smaller increments. By packing earlier and gradually over a few days before your trip, you reduce your anxiety on the day you travel and are less likely to feel frazzled or forget something.
  • Set alarms. Use that alarm setting in your phone to set benchmarks for getting ready before you leave. Set alarms for waking up (of course), when you should be done getting showered and dressed, when you should be finished packing any last minute things, when you have 30 minutes left to leave the house, 20-min, 10-min–you get it. The trick here is to set alarms where you normally would lose track of time. This will give you peace of mind so you don’t have to constantly check the clock until the alarm rings. Just don’t forget to change the alarm tone to something that isn’t so…well, alarming.

What to do if you’re having anxiety about forgetting something:

  • Here’s where that packing list comes in handy again. We’d recommend keeping a digital copy of your packing list on the notepad of your phone (if that’s something you always have on you), or even a paper copy that you can stick on your suitcase until it’s time to leave. You can check each item off with an emoji once it’s packed so it’s easy to see at a glance what’s left. Hold onto it until you’re back home from your trip. It’s also helpful to have with you packing for the trip home–just use a different emoji to check things off this time around.
  • Ever do the wallet, keys, phone pat-down? We all have, but when you’re traveling sometimes you have a little more to remember. Use pouches or packing cubes to make finding things easier, and therefore easier to remember. If you’re putting everything back in its place immediately after using it, you’ll only need to remember the pouches and not each individual item. Organization is your friend!
  • Put everything back exactly where you had it and you’ll never really lose anything. I can’t make any guarantees against theft, but this way you’ll know exactly where everything is. When you use a lip balm and then toss it onto the bed in your hotel room, you’re probably not going to see it ever again. Things roll, drop, and slide into crevices–make sure you’re not a victim to this!
  • Have an area dedicated for your belongings–just ONE. For some, it can be the bench at the foot of your hotel bed or even the dresser. Just remember to try to keep all your things in the same vicinity to avoid things getting left behind or lost. If you use the dresser but still keep stuff in your suitcase, keep the suitcase close to the dresser. Having all your belongings strewn all over the room makes it a whole lot harder to find anything.

How to cope with a fear of flying:

  • Noise-canceling headphones are amazing if the noises and sounds of the airplane make you anxious, plus some good music. Drown the noise out, turn up the volume if you need to, and try to focus on something like a book or a movie.
  • Meditation is a great way to help you clear your mind of negative thoughts you may be having when a plane is taking off or having a bit of turbulence. You can utilize apps now to practice meditating so that by the time you have a flight, you’ll know exactly how to calm your nerves.
  • Ditch the coffee, tea or alcohol and drink water instead. Caffeine will make your heart rate increase which will amplify your anxiety. Opt for water instead, which is better anyway since proper hydration helps prevent jet lag. In fact, you should be drinking 6-8oz of water per hour of flight to deter jet lag symptoms. Don’t forget to take your LARQ Bottle with you so you have water on you at all times. Fill it up at the airport after passing TSA and press the button to allow the UV-C LED to purify your water from any bacteria and viruses. You don’t want to get sick right before a trip!
  • Positive affirmations will go a long way. Before your flight, think about everything that you may experience, what your triggers are, and plan rational responses to these triggers. If you’re afraid of turbulence because it might signal that the plane is going to go down, it may be helpful to look up statistics of the likelihood of this and remind yourself during the flight. Turbulence is actually really common and is caused by air masses above mountains, jet streams, and storms!
  • Choose a seat closer to the front of the plane. The seats in the back experience stronger effects of turbulence than the front. No matter where you’re seated, tell your flight attendant that you have anxiety or a fear of flying and oftentimes they will come by to check on you to make sure you’re okay.
  • Having someone with you is another great way to combat aerophobia. An experienced flyer will naturally be more relaxed, so those relaxed feelings may help you feel more at ease. It may sound cheesy, but having someone hold your hand or reaffirm to you that everything that is happening in the plane is normal and fine will help you overcome your anxiety and make the journey more enjoyable.

What to do if you’re anxious about navigating a foreign destination:

  • Download a map on your phone as an image or on Google Maps. Even if you don’t have cellular data service abroad–or worried about spotty service at inconvenient times–you’ll be able to access these and can reference them when you are asking for directions from locals. You can even mark important places on the map like your hotel, the airport, and other destinations you will be visiting.
  • Research, research, research. Look into the main modes of transportation (Uber and Lyft aren’t available in every country)–sometimes the easiest ways to travel within a city is by public transportation by way of subway systems, buses, or trains. There’s an abundance of resources you can find that will explain how these transportation systems work so you can feel a little more at ease when it comes time to put that knowledge to use.
  • Learn a few key phrases in the language. Articles, Google Translate, Youtube videos–all are great places to quickly learn a new phrase in a different language and basics to get you by. And hey, if you’ve got a few months before your trip you can even hop on Duolingo to learn more! Jot them down in your phone so you have them written down or can even show them to locals to get by.

If you want to travel, don’t let anxiety prevent you from doing so! Be empowered to overcome your anxiety and take things one step at a time.


Are You Hotel Snob? Here are 9 Stunning Unique Hotels You Need to See

When it comes to hotels, we love a well-designed interior and a hotel that doesn’t skimp on the fixtures or amenities. The accommodations should make the entire experience nothing short of delightful. I mean, you are on vacation, right? And while many of us aren’t influencers, it doesn’t mean we don’t like to live like one on holiday. Here are a few of our favorite–most instagram-worthy hotels across the world we’re currently obsessed with. They’re bright and airy and situated in some of the most beautiful destinations.

Hotel Habita

Source: Tripadvisor

Mexico City, Mexico

Probably one of the most underrated cities in the world is Mexico City. It’s full of amazing restaurants, nightlife, museums, beautiful architecture–and did we mention the food?? Hotel Habita is located central to everything you’d want to see and features a beautiful simplistic layout that’s clean, minimal and modern. We especially love the pool and dining areas of this place; we could lounge on the tiled pool area all day–as will you.


Source: Tripadvisor

Hong Kong, China

Designed with minimalist principles and the masterful element of natural lighting and playing with shadows, TUVE is a minimalist’s dream. The juxtaposition of natural wood grain against concrete oddly makes the rooms feel home-y yet elegant. The entire hotel is an art piece echoing touches of oxidized copper and marble throughout, creating texture and interest in every corner of the hotel. It’s located a short walk away from Causeway Bay (on the quiet and calm side) where you’ll find famed restaurants and tons to do and see.

The Relais La Sommità

Source: The Relais La Sommita

Puglia, Italy

This 5-star boutique hotel in Puglia is actually a historic sixteenth-century residence in the center of Ostuni, also known as the “white city”–famed for its stark white buildings. The light and airy-ness of The Relais La Sommita coupled with the beautifully preserved stone walls make the space so unique, clean, and comforting. The views are unparalleled here, where you can sit on the balcony and really take in the sights of this beautiful city.

Casa Azimute

Source: Casa Azimute

Estremoz, Portugal

This unique house features 4 rooms and 2 suites available for booking. It is located 1 hour and 30 minutes from Lisbon and the western coast of Alentejo, where the house overlooks the vast landscape of rolling hills, fortified cities, and fresh air. Being situated far from major cities, Casa Azimute is the perfect place for stargazing and enjoying the views. The rooms are built with this in mind–featuring panoramic windows and even an enclosed outdoor daybed where you and your loved one can enjoy the stars in the dark sky or bask in the sunlight with a good book (just don’t forget the sunscreen!).

Hotel Joaquin

Source: Hotel Joaquin

Laguna Beach, California

There are hidden gems nestled all over the place but this one takes the cake. This Spanish-influenced boutique hotel combines luxurious living with laidback California vibes to transport you on a relaxing beachside stay. All of their rooms are uniquely decorated and feature vibey things like a record player, gorgeous stone sinks with brass fixtures, and beautiful views of the surrounding gardens and ocean. At Hotel Joaquin, you’re just steps away from the beach town and the beach itself. Win-win.

Public Hotel

Source: Public Hotel

New York, New York

If light and airy by day and sensual by night sound like the ideal spot for your next vacation, you’ll love Public Hotel. The unique design of the rooms prioritizes the views by keeping the bed closest to the window in what feels like a cozy nook. With natural wood touches and custom-designed lighting that emulates candlelight, you’ll never want to leave the room–except for complimentary warm cookies and milk at Louis maybe. Some other complimentary throw-ins include wellness classes, 24-access to the state of the art gym, Shinola bicycle rentals, and in-room coffee. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Casa Cook Rhodes

Source: Casa Cook Rhodes

Kolympia, Greece

Casa Cook identifies itself as a lifestyle boutique hotel–emphasizing a laid-back feel and stylish adults-only resort by Thomas Cook. With multiple locations in sprinkled along the Mediterranean, guests will be close to the ocean wherever they choose to stay, and every location is equally as beautiful as the others. You’ll instantly feel at ease with the earthy tones, natural fixtures, and plants intentionally placed around the property. It’s the type of hotel that will make you want to quit working and just stay there forever.

Turtle Island Fiji

Source: Turtle Island Fiji

Turtle Island, Fiji

If a remote tropical destination is more your speed, Turtle Island Fiji will not disappoint. The island itself is packed with lush greenery and the resort complements its surroundings extremely well with big open entrances and balconies that open up to a panoramic view of the beach and the surrounding foliage. The natural furnishings and crisp white linens make the rooms feel relaxing yet luxurious. Oh–did we mention it’s a private island? This resort is the island, which only accommodates 14 couples at a time–talk about exclusive. Food is always fresh and sourced locally; they serve up fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables and more to truly enhance the experience on the island.

The Calile Hotel

Source: The Calile Hotel

Queensland, Australia

Want to feel like you’re living in an interior design feature of a magazine? The Calile Hotel is just the place. The color palette of sage, blush and a powdery blue with touches of brass and natural oak furnishings will make the right side of your brain so happy. Every inch of this hotel is beautiful from the pool to the gym and spa to the library and business center. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy your stay in the city of Brisbane.


7 Gorgeous Glamping Destinations and Luxury Camping Resorts in the U.S.

If you’ve read our guide to camping sustainably and decide you’re not about that backcountry life, we get it. We can’t all be nature buffs or backpacking aficionados, but we can appreciate nature without the added stress and athleticism it requires to rough it in the mountains. The term “glamping” stems from just this–a modest mash of “glamour” and “camping” that is just as it sounds (yes, I did just used “modest” and “glamour” in the same sentence). So for all of you nature enthusiasts who don’t like to sacrifice all of your creature comforts to enjoy it, glamping may be just the thing to cure you of your city-life woes. 


If you’re looking to be truly inspired by your surroundings, go glamping. Being more relaxed and less focused on surviving out in the wilderness brings you certain ease–so much so that it might just feel like an actual vacation! To truly enjoy yourself in the outdoors, here are some of the most unique glamping destinations you can go to in the United States that will get you outdoors a whole lot more. 

Under Canvas – Montana + Multiple Locations

Under Canvas Resorts - Glacier, Montana Safari style tent

With a whopping eight campsites across the United States, Under Canvas has created a family of well thought out luxury sites that will make any nature lover happy. Locations include the Grand Canyon, Moab, Yellowstone, Glacier, Zion, Great Smokey Mountains, Mount Rushmore, and Tucson so far. Each campsite is close to activities unique to the destination its nestled in, ranging from llama trekking to paddleboarding, horseback riding, and even helicopter tours. Depending on the type of adventure you want to have, Under Canvas has much to offer. 


Dunton River Camp – Colorado

Dunton River Camp Colorado safari style tent

Dunton River Camp is a rustic glamping experience set up in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. You’ll find breathtaking views of Wilson Peak or the Dolores River. There is a myriad of activities ranging from fly fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding to soaking in the Dunton Hot Springs, getting massages or taking a yoga class. There are 8 luxury tents available, so be sure to book early to reserve your spot. Soaking in the rustic charm here without giving up all the little luxuries of a resort vacation is definitely how we want to spend our PTO. 

Autocamp – California

Autocamp Yosemite airstream in California

As Californians, Autocamp holds a special place in our heart. Its unique experience features Airstreams that evoke a retro yet modern feel. Locations include Russian River (located under the Redwoods just minutes from wine country and the California coast), Yosemite (one of the country’s most treasured national parks situated in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains), and Santa Barbara (located in Downtown Santa Barbara minutes from the beach and the Santa Ynez Mountains). The campers themselves don’t feel like you’re in airstream–they feel more like a modern tiny home with updated amenities and luxurious bed and bath. Each airstream has its own patio where you can enjoy your own firepit and have a healthy local snack and wine while enjoying the lush scenery. What more can you ask for?

Eco-pods – California

Ecopods in mojave desert glamping

Not your typical glamping situation here, but definitely a special one. To really experience something, the starkness of the desert and the intensity it brings between seasons, these “eco-pods” provide the perfect shelter to experience the outdoors. The pods are constructed so that you can really experience the “intensity of the sun and wind, hear it when it rains, and experience the quiet solitude of the dark”. Experience desert activities like going off-roading or riding your dirt bike or motorcycle across the valley. 

Asheville Glamping – North Carolina

Asheville Glamping in North CarolinaAsheville Glamping provides a variety of tents and cabins to choose from depending on your budget–each with its own charm and views. Perhaps the most unique experience at Asheville Glamping is their newest Dome 4 (pictured) with a transparent roof that allows you to stargaze at night, a luxurious queen sized memory foam bed and pastoral views. It’s close to Biltmore Village where guests will find an abundance of activities to complement their glamourous stay here at Asheville. If you’re looking for a romantic stay that’s easy to access, this is it!

Collective Retreats – New York + Multiple Locations

Collective Retreats Governor's Island New York summit tent

Collective Retreats sets the bar high for their glamping sites across the United States. You’ll get that boho safari vibe from all of its tents, but there is no skimping on the glam. They’ve done their research in selecting the most breathtaking landscapes to nestle their beautifully designed tents in. Keep in mind they are on the higher end of this roundup of glamping locations. Retreat sites include Governor’s Island, Hudson Valley, Vail, Hill Country, and Yellowstone–each with their own charm. Pictured above is their Governor’s Island safari tent. This site is just a ferry ride away from downtown Manhattan (so all you city folk can glamp too without having to take a plane), with a panoramic view of the statue of liberty across the New York Harbor. 

Firelight – New York

Firelight Glamping resort in Ithaca, New york

Traveling more upstate, Firelight is glamping site you can’t miss. It’s earned its title as an eco-friendly glamping site with a homely feel. If you love being in the trees and listening to the leaves rustling in the wind, this campsite is for you. The feel is rustic and unpretentious and has all the creature comforts one could want from a luxury glamping site. Here, they encourage their guests to enjoy the site with activities like live music by the fire, artisanal wine, beer, cider, spirits and cocktails, massages, outdoor yoga, and wild foraging hikes. There’s no shortage of things to do here if you get bored but let’s not forget to enjoy the scenery and being in the woods for a spectacularly relaxing getaway. 



Tips for Camping Sustainably

Go zero waste (or try!)

Say no to single-use plastic and opt for reusable options where you can. Plastic will take up to 10,000 years to disintegrate, all the while leeching toxic chemicals into the Earth. When you’re roughing it out in the backcountry, it’s likely that you’ll need to fill up your bottle in questionable places. The perfect solution is to bring an activated charcoal stick with you that will filter the water and/or a self-cleaning bottle to deter any bacteria from forming in your water bottle; the LARQ Bottle uses medical grade UV-C LED technology to eliminate up to 99.9999% of bacteria and viruses (in Adventure Mode) so you can drink with confidence–even out in nature.

Organic food

Purchasing organic foods are more environmentally friendly than buying foods riddled with pesticides and chemicals. Aside from keeping those harmful chemicals from entering your body, you’re promoting sustainable agriculture and keeping any toxic food waste from entering your campsite. Organic farming reduces pollution, conserves water, reduces soil erosion, increases soil fertility, and uses less energy than traditional farming.

Dispose of human waste properly

When available, always use nearby restrooms, outhouses, or porta-potties. If you’re in a situation where you need to dig a hole, make sure you are at least 200 steps from any water source, dig a hole 6-8 inches deep and bury your waste. Make sure you pack up your used toilet paper, or better yet–use natural toilet paper.

Leave the campsite better than you found it

You should always leave a place better than you found it, but when camping, this is especially important. Respect the grounds we wander and pick up after yourself, or even for other people if needed. Litter, chemical products, and other manmade items, when left behind, are a danger for wildlife and the species that live in the area.

Make sure you pack everything with you–your trash, recyclables, and compost–and drop them off at the appropriate disposal area or take them with you.


Always check the rules and regulations for campfires before you embark on your trip! Not all campsites will allow fires.

  • Don’t bring your own firewood. Foreign species to the area can have adverse effects on the environment. Instead, use branches and sticks from surrounding areas of the campgrounds.
  • Always use rocks from the surrounding area to form a barrier around your fire and build high to keep it contained
  • Keep your fire small–this way, it’s much easier to control.
  • Always be sure to burn all the wood and coal to ash so that the fire is completely diminished. Once you’ve done this, scatter the cold ashes around.
  • Never leave a fire unattended. This is how accidents happen!

Lock everything up

The scent and taste of human food can make wildlife more aggressive, namely, bears. Bears are intelligent creatures that also have an incredible sense of smell. They can detect food from up to 20 miles away! Once they have a taste of human food, they’ll learn to seek it out, which becomes dangerous for campsites, humans, as well as the bears themselves.

Bear canisters are considered the safest form of storing food and trash aside from provided food lockers at some major campsites and backcountry because they are airtight and hide the scent of your food and other scented belongings. They’re also mandatory in some national parks and wilderness areas in the United States, so be sure to check the rules and regulations before taking on a trip!

Use eco-friendly products

Swapping for eco-friendly products–no matter how seemingly small the change–can have a huge impact on the environment…if you are using the right ones. However, beware of greenwashing. An easy way to check if a product is eco-friendly is scanning for certifications like Certified B Corporations, Fair Trade or Non-GMO. For disposable items, looking for biodegradable options is best–especially for camping. Here are a few of our recommendations for sustainably made or eco-friendly options for camping:

  • Camp stove – Camp stoves are easy to use and convenient for cooking on an outdoor adventure.
  • Bamboo travel utensils – Bamboo is one of the most sustainable crops because it grows fast and doesn’t require any fertilizer or pesticides. It regenerates its own roots so it doesn’t need to be replanted either. You’re probably thinking–so this is why I see bamboo products everywhere. Yes, yes it is.
  • Self-cleaning Reusable Water bottle – Surely as a backpacker, you may be accustomed to using the Steripen–but did you know that these require you to carry a separate water bottle and are made with toxic mercury-based lamps? That means if you break yours in the backcountry, you would be releasing toxic chemicals into nature, and potentially exposing yourself to them too. Thus, it wouldn’t be a sustainable adventure without a LARQ Bottle that stays clean even in the roughest of adventures. Using UV-C LED technology, the LARQ Bottle purifies and cleans the inside of your bottle without the need for any toxic chemicals so it’s safe to use in and away from nature, and you can fill up and stay hydrated–even in the mountains. Just fill up, press the button twice for Adventure Mode, wipe the area around the mouth, and drink up!
  • Activated Charcoal – You’ve probably heard the buzz around activated charcoal (especially in LA), and there’s good reason around it! For camping, activated charcoal sticks are great for filtering water without the plastic (like from popular water filters). Fill from your water source, drop an activated charcoal stick in, and leave overnight to let it work. You can refill your LARQ Bottle with this filtered water for your day hike!
  • Dr. Bronner’s Biodegradable Soap – Soaps and lotions, although biodegradable can affect the quality of our natural water sources, so it’s still best to wash yourself at least 200 feet from any water source.
  • Hammock – Hammocks are actually good for you to sleep in because of the position of your neck and spine when cradled in one of these bad boys. This one’s constructed with Repreve fabric which uses recycled plastic water bottles–9 to be exact!
  • Hammock straps – When choosing a spot to string up your hammock, make sure the trees are strong (at least 8″ in diameter), healthy leaves, no bare patches on the bark, wilting or dead branches. Try to avoid young trees, trees that produce sap, or that tend to attract crawling poisonous vines. It’s also important to make sure your hammock straps are tree-friendly–meaning they won’t damage or strip the bark of the trees you’re using. If you come across a tree with stripping from a hammock strap, move onto the next one! That one probably needs a little break.
  • Headlamps – Headlamps are pretty much essential when camping overnight or taking early morning hikes or late evening ones. These headlamps are made from 100% recyclable materials!
  • Biodegradable wet wipes – Staying clean is the best way to prevent germs from spreading, but out in the backcountry this can be difficult without soap and water or wet wipes. Conventional wet wipes aren’t biodegradable and will need to be packed up in a bear canister after being used. Instead, biodegradable ones like these will take up to a month to decompose–just dig a 6-8inch hole at least 200 ft away from a water source.

Leave No Trace

As a general rule of thumb, pack up everything you brought with you when you leave your campsite. Follow these Seven Principles of Leave No Trace to have a wonderful and sustainable trip into the wilderness:

  • Plan Ahead & Prepare – Knowing the terrain and environment you will be traveling through will help reduce environmental damage, minimize resource damage, and is overall safer.
  • Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces – as a rule of thumb, camp at least 200 feet from water sources and do try not to disturb, trample or camp on top of vegetation. It’s also best to camp further away from other campsites to ensure a clear route for wildlife to access water sources.
  • Dispose of Waste Properly – Aside from properly disposing of human waste, other forms of waste include greywater (used water from washing dishes, showering, or doing laundry). Carry the water 200 feet away from any water sources and scatter strained dishwater.
  • Leave What You Find – Grabbing a souvenir from the campsite doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal, but for the wildlife in the area, it could. Did you know that pregnant deer depend on maple leaves for vitamin C? Or that birds building nests would need that tiny stick you found? All you should take from your trip is the memories and the sights. Leave everything else to the inhabitants!
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts – In addition to the aforementioned best practices for campfires, you should always try to use stoves if you can bring them with you instead of traditional fire for cooking. These are fast, easy to operate and have a less severe impact on the campsites and surrounding areas. If you have a site with a fire ring, use that! These are built to contain fires which mean less risk involved–especially if you’re a beginner!
  • Respect Wildlife – This is their home and they don’t want to be disturbed. Be considerate guests and view them from afar, keeping food safely packed away and trash contained as well. As we mentioned before, you should set up camp far enough away from other campsites so that animals can pass through.
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors – We know you like your music, but keep it to yourself. Animals have an acute sense of hearing, so the music will cause a serious disturbance to the animals and others around you; if you must, use earbuds instead of loud speakers. When hiking, groups leading or riding pack stock have the right-of-way on trails, so as a hiker or bicyclist, move aside and let them pass–be quiet around horses since they startle easily.

Read more about the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace to ensure you’re best equipped with the knowledge to help you camp sustainably! Adventure away!


Long Flight Essentials: 22 Things You Need to Pack + Tips for a Comfortable Flight

Summer is coming and we’re in dire need of some vacation time. In preparation for long haul flights we’re taking this season, we’ve gathered some of our favorite essentials for long haul flights–some non-essential but extremely helpful–to help you along on your travels!

When it comes to long flights, the airplane essentials you need are the things that make you comfortable, makes you feel like you’re at home in your bed, and can help you pass the time on the hours you’re not sleeping. If you’re bracing yourself for a long flight, you’ve come to the right place.

Make sure you’ve got all the essentials for long flights by using this as not only a shopping guide but as a checklist to ensure you’ve remembered everything. There’s nothing worse than forgetting your headphones at home when you have a 10+ hour flight. Been there, done that–not fun (and had to pay $25 for crappy headphones that I’ll never use again).

Let’s get into this.

Personal Item / Carry On Essentials for Long Flights

Make sure that all your in-flight essentials can all fit in your personal item bag, which can vary in size depending on your airline. You’ll want it in a personal item so that it can be stowed seamlessly under your seat, where you can access it quickly without getting in someone’s way or asking your neighbor to move so you can grab it.

If you’re only bringing a carry-on, a cool hack is to pack all your essentials in a pouch in your carry-on. When you pass TSA, take that pouch out so you can have it with you before you board the plane and not have to open your gigantic luggage or backpacking bag in the airplane and hold up the boarding process.

Photo by Patrick Coddou on Unsplash

Sleeping essentials for long flights

Catching a red-eye? Getting some Zzz’s before you set off on your action-packed vacation? Dozing off so you don’t have to make small talk with your neighbor? Don’t get us started on the screaming babies on flights that make it feel like the flight is lasting an eternity. If you’ve been in these situations, here are a few things to remedy your in-flight sleeping woes.

Noise Canceling Headphones

Can you tell why this is #1? If you like sleeping on planes or need to (you know, to prevent jet lag), you should invest in a good set of noise canceling headphones. You’ll be impervious to any screaming, crying, endless chatter, or annoying neighbor. You don’t even need to be listening to anything! That’s the beauty of noise-canceling headphones on long flights. Pop these on and you’re instantly in your own little world.

Wired Headphones

Some airlines offer free in-flight entertainment via a screen built into the seat in front of you. You’ll notice that these have headphone jacks to plug into. If your noise-canceling headphones are wireless, you might want to bring a pair of wired ones if you’re planning on utilizing this amenity. Your old EarPods should do the trick.

Travel Pillow

This is about as essential as headphones. Countless times, I’ve witnessed people without travel pillows on long haul flights with their heads bobbing up and down or contorted in a weird position as they try to sleep upright. I get it, travel pillows are a nuisance to carry onto the plane and some just look silly–but, when it comes to getting restful sleep on a plane without the neck cramp, you’ll need it.

Before getting a travel pillow, I was one of those people that would get bad neck and back pain during my trip because of the poor positioning of my neck when sleeping on the plane. If this sounds all too familiar to you, just get a travel pillow. I got this one, which includes a carrying case (more hygienic) where you can roll it up to a more compact shape and clips onto your personal item easily so you’re not holding a bulky neck pillow as you walk to your terminal.

Eye mask

This is for those who are used to sleeping in complete darkness (studies show this is better for you), or for those instances where your neighbor has the reading light on the entire time while you’re trying to sleep. Yikes. Try it out before you go on the flight to make sure it’s not too tight and that you can actually sleep with it on. It takes some getting used to if you don’t typically wear one to sleep.

Photo by Ori Song on Unsplash

Face mask

OK, so you might look a little ridiculous with both an eye mask and a face mask, but if you’re an open-mouth sleeper, this might be a solution for you! If you don’t care, more power to you, but I know some people are self-conscious or tend to drool when they’re sleeping. If you’re one of those people and are looking for a quick solution, this is it.


If you’re skipping the noise canceling headphones, ear plugs are absolutely essential. Not just for the airplane, but maybe even for sleeping at the hostel or if you have really noisy neighbors at your Airbnb. Plus, they take virtually no space in your bag.

Compression socks

It’s debatable whether these are absolutely essential, but still, something to think about before embarking on your trip. Compression socks are made for people who will be sitting for extended periods of time to improve circulation in your legs and to combat fatigue or swelling. They also double as slippers if you’re brave enough to wear them from your seat to the restroom so you don’t have to put your shoes back on.


Sometimes you absolutely NEED to sleep on your flight in order to prevent jet lag (adjusting for the time at your destination). If you’re having a bout of restlessness, you probably want something to help you get there. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that makes you sleepy and can help you adjust your internal clock. When you’re on a long flight, your body is all messed up on the days and time zones. It might be a good idea to take some melatonin with you to help you adjust–just use as directed!

In-flight essentials for staying awake on a long haul flight

Sometimes being on a long-haul flight doesn’t mean it’s in your best interest to sleep the entire 10 hours. The amount of time you should sleep to avoid jet lag is entirely dependent on the time zone of your destination. If you need to stay awake for the better leg of your flight, make sure you have a few options for keeping your mind engaged.

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

Power Bank

This is a must for everyone traveling domestic or abroad. Too often I see people fighting over outlets at the airport or with a draining battery, which at that point, you’re tethered to a wall for 20 minutes to an hour. Not ideal for a vacation. Save yourself the trouble and use a portable power bank where you can plug and charge your electronic devices as you’re running around exploring.

Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash


An e-reader is perfect for flights because it’s lighter than a book, takes up very little space, and it’s like you’re bringing your whole library with you to choose from. The other great thing? If you end up finishing one of your books, you have more. We especially love the Paperwhite Kindle because it doesn’t strain your eyes with blue light, which can make it more difficult for you to sleep if you needed to sleep on the latter portion of your long flight. Of course, you can always use your phone or tablet to read, too!


When was the last time you picked up a pen and paper? A long flight is a perfect place to do that again and jot some ideas or thoughts down. You can plan your itinerary, doodle, and journal your experiences as you’re flying. Throw it back even more by playing a little tic-tac-toe or M*A*S*H with your neighbor.


This is simple but it’s always a good idea to bring a pen with you for filling out documents, taking quick notes, etc. Just don’t bring a fountain pen or something that can explode with the altitude change. Your best bet will be a ballpoint pen or the tried and true Micron felt tip pen (just make sure the cap is secure).

Pre-Downloaded Music, Shows, Podcasts, or Audiobooks

For long flights specifically, download your favorite music, shows or podcasts to listen to ahead of time. Spotify and Netflix apps have the option to download so you can listen to and watch your favorites without the need for WiFi or the dreaded buffering. You can even download apps for ambient noise or an audiobook app in lieu of an e-reader–something calm to listen to as you drift off into a deep slumber.

Hygiene and beauty travel essentials for long flights

If you’re a germaphobe like us, these are must-haves for any bag (long flight or not). Stay fresh before and after a long flight.

Photo by Workshop& on Unsplash

Moist towelettes

You can opt for hand sanitizer too, but these are slightly more useful. Use them for wiping down your seat area (those things can get pretty disgusting), as a substitute for washing your hands so you don’t have to get up or wait for the restroom, or for quickly wiping off light stains from clothes. These are useful on and off the flight for every sinkless situation.

Photo by Emily Boffeli

Water bottle

Of course, you need to stay hydrated. Flight attendants do not come around enough to hand you water, and even then, they’ll be handing you a plastic cup of water that you’ll consume within the next couple minutes because you’re afraid of spilling it. More plastic? No thanks.

Bring your own LARQ Bottle and fill it up at a water fountain in the airport after going past TSA. Ever think twice about filling at a station adjacent to the restrooms–eesh. That won’t happen with the LARQ Bottle. When you run out, ask your flight attendant to refill your water bottle instead of handing you a tiny cup of water. The bonus? You won’t have to worry about missing the next round of water if you were sleeping.


When you’re flying, the altitude can make your skin extremely dry. It’s a good idea to pack some moisturizer with you and lip balm to keep your skin hydrated (drinking enough water will help too!).

Toothbrush & Toothpaste

Keep in mind, on a long flight, or even overnight one where you’ll be sleeping on the plane, your breath can get a little unpleasant. Spare yourself and your neighbor and plan to brush your teeth at some point during your flight. Plus, you’ll feel fresh coming off the plane–especially if you need to make a good impression right off your flight!

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

TSA-approved Toiletry bag

Clear 1 quart bags are a must when traveling abroad. Make things easy on yourself by packing this in your personal item or carry-on bag holding all your liquids in 100mL travel bottles. Having them all in one place makes going through TSA is a breeze, and you’ll have easier access to them on the flight.


If this is purely to smell nice, mints will do the trick too, but chewing gum can also help you release pressure from your ears on the flight.

First aid and medication

If you like to stay prepared, a first aid kit will be a staple in your travel pack. You never know if you’ll get a papercut that you’ll need to cover up, or if you’ll scrape up your knee on a hike in the Amazon.

Medication should be kept in the same place too–whatever medication you think you might need, just bring it, and bring a few extras just in case. If it’s something that could mean life or death, it’s smart to bring extra in a separate pouch or with someone you’re traveling with too. Remember to follow TSA’s rules and regulations for all medication.


Whether it’s hot or cold in your destination, a scarf is something versatile you can bring with you on a trip. If it gets cold, you can simply use the scarf as a blanket.


Don’t fall victim to hanger. Stashing a few snacks in your bag will prevent you from the dreaded irritability that can ruin your trip, especially if you’re traveling with other people. It’s a good idea to have them handy if you’re going on some hikes at your destination or if you have long days of touring and museum-ing.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a remedy for the child kicking your seat repeatedly besides politely bringing it to their parent or guardian’s attention in hopes that they’ll stop, but hopefully these are enough to help you deal with any other disruptions on the airplane. Happy travels!


14 Off Season Travel Destinations to Visit Before You Die

Not a fan of crowds? Don’t like paying premium prices for travel and accommodations? Here’s a guide to the best times to travel to major vacation destinations in the off-season, and maybe some you might not have thought to visit before! Whether you’re in the mood for a relaxing beach vacation or the type of traveler who loves to be immersed in another country’s culture, these places are must-sees for everyone!

Paris, France

Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

The peak season to travel to Paris is during the summer months anywhere from May – September. Paris is beautiful in the summertime, but there’s a certain charm to it in October through November and March through April too if you’re not a fan of super warm weather. You can enjoy the leaves falling in autumn, overcast skies (which by the way creates nice soft lighting for all your pictures), or spring weather in the 60s-70s so you can enjoy walking 10 or more miles per day and without being drenched in sweat.

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

Photo by William Recinos on Unsplash

Off season travel to New Orleans lands around January-December. You’ll find cheap flights, budget-friendly accommodations, and enjoy the amazing culture and food there. Prices increase quite a bit in the Spring, but if you prefer warmer weather, this might be a better option for you than to travel in the brisk winter. It’s definitely a must-see and one of the most underrated cities in the U.S., so we had to include it in this list! If you can brave a little bit of cold, traveling in the off-season will be a breeze.


Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash

Avoid traveling to Iceland during July through mid-August if you are planning to visit the more popular destinations like the Blue Lagoon or the Golden Circle. Opting for shoulder seasons like September-October and February-March for less severe winters, and less crowded tourist attractions. Plus, if you’re traveling to Iceland to view the Northern Lights, the best time to view them will be around September through late March. You’ll score cheaper airfare during these months, and have a higher chance of viewing the northern lights one of the nights you’re there.


Photo by Charlie Marusiak on Unsplash

Yet another popular tourist destination, Greece offers impeccable sightseeing, gorgeous panoramic views, and delicious food. Traveling between June – August would be a nightmare due to crowds of tourists traveling for vacation. The best time to travel in the off season in Greece is in March, right before it starts to get really warm. For all you people who hate the heat, you might want to hit up Greece in March or earlier!

The Bahamas

Photo by Gregory Culmer on Unsplash

When traveling to islands close to the equator, the weather is usually a lot warmer year-round, but depending where you are, you may risk entering these countries during hurricane season. The best time of year to visit the Bahamas to beat crowds is autumn where the beaches are emptier and you’ll be able to really soak in all its glory. BUT, be wary that peak hurricane season occurs between early August and the end of October. Crowds of tourists start picking up around January – April and things get a little pricier during that time too.

Taipei, Taiwan

Photo by Thomas Tucker on Unsplash

The best time of year to visit Taipei is a brief window from September to November, during dry conditions and moderate temperatures from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Taipei is known for its nightlife, street food culture, and amazing noodle and dumpling restaurants. You’ll be able to enjoy them a little more with thinner crowds.

Costa Rica

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

If you love lush greenery, the landscapes of Costa Rica will absolutely take your breath away. The dry season tends to be the most expensive here from mid-December through April. If you don’t mind getting a little wet and want to save some money, travel during May – November when prices are the lowest due to higher precipitation. It is equally as beautiful–if not more beautiful–when it rains because of the gorgeous post-rain foliage. The bonus here is fewer tourists so you can enjoy the lush land without the noise of obnoxious travelers. Just be prepared for some rain!

Marrakech, Morocco

Photo by Kees Kortmulder on Unsplash

Beat the crowds and the scorching hot temperatures by visiting Marrakech in the Fall (no one likes a burnt cookie). Plus, you’ll reap the benefits of booking more affordable flight prices during this time. All that saving can allow you to purchase a few unique souvenirs from the renowned marketplaces or treating yourself to a luxury stay at one of the beautiful hotels in Marrakech.


Photo by Luca Micheli on Unsplash

Enjoy lower airfare to London and slightly chillier temperatures from mid-September through November. You’ll even save on hotel rates during this time. Due to the off-season, it’ll be easier to navigate the streets of London and check out the most touristy destinations with much thinner crowds. Say hello to the Queen for us?

Lake Tahoe, California, US

Photo by Clara Marie on Unsplash

Looking for a relaxing getaway in the summer on a budget? Lake Tahoe is gorgeous in the summer, with ski resorts offering deals and cheap stays in the off season. For the thrill-seekers, take a hike in the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe or paddle-board, kayak, and wade in the lake itself. The clear, calm waters are perfect for hanging out and taking a dip in the summer. For the self-care enthusiasts, book a spa day or massage at one of Lake Tahoe’s resorts at discounted rates.

Florence, Italy

Photo by Mark Tegethoff on Unsplash

If you’re a fan of rich historical culture and beautifully preserved architecture, you won’t want to miss Florence. It’s pretty much tourist-free from November – April, so you can avoid those crowds and see the sights as the locals would. Europe in the off-season is also a little safer; because there aren’t as many crowds, there is a slimmer chance of getting pickpocketed.

Bali, Indonesia

Photo by Dennis Rochel on Unsplash

A popular honeymoon destination, Bali speaks to the adventurers and luxury travelers alike. There is lush greenery, amazing resorts, affordable massages, spas, and beautiful hikes–plus, the food is amazing, and cheap! Visit in the off season between September and October where prices for flights and even luxury resorts are at their lowest.

New York, New York, US

Photo by Nicolai Berntsen on Unsplash

Travel to the Big Apple is the most pleasant during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) where you’ll see high prices in both airfare and accommodations. If you don’t mind the cold though, the most affordable times to visit New York is from mid-January to early March.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Photo by Ivan Ivankovic on Unsplash

Home of the famous red-tiled roofs featured in “Game of Thrones”, the best time to visit Dubrovnik is during September or October with fewer crowds and more affordable hotel rates. Enjoy the beautiful turquoise waters of the Dalmatian Coast and beach-lounging.

Life’s short. Take some time off to travel and see the world, be immersed in the culture, and you know–just take a break from work for once! You’ve earned that time off, why not spend it on new experiences?


​How to Beat Jet Lag Before it Happens

What is jet lag exactly?

Well, jet lag or jet lag disorder is a really not-fun consequence of taking long-haul flights. Our bodies struggle when crossing time zones because they’re already accustomed to a certain sleep-wake cycle. This is a result of a disturbed circadian rhythm that throws your internal clock off balance. Other functions such as hunger and bowel movements will take time to catch up to the local time at your new destination. The more time zones you cross, the worse jet lag can get. If possible, try to avoid back to back flights that cross multiple time zones. It’ll ease up your jet lag symptoms (being on a plane for that long wouldn’t be ideal anyway. You’ll thank us later).

Some jet lag symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia or sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Changes in mood

Traveling is fun, but the jet lag is seriously something we can do without–wait, that was an option? Yep. It’s actually really easy to avoid jet lag or travel fatigue! The factors leading to this symptom is primarily sleep-deprivation or dehydration. Chances are being sleep-deprived means you’re gonna have a rough go at it because your body clock hasn’t fully adjusted. By taking steps ahead of time to adjust your body clock, you just might be able to successfully beat jet lag.

Tips for Avoiding Jet Lag

  1. Plan ahead
    Do you sleep well on planes? If so, choose a red-eye flight where you’ll be able to catch a good night’s rest before arriving at your destination–refreshed and awake for daylight. If not, choose a flight where you will land closer to the evening at your new destination so you can sleep when you arrive. This will help you reset for the first day you arrive. If it’s your first time flying on a long-distance flight, you should probably stay away from red-eye’s until you know for sure if you’re able to sleep on a plane. It should be easier to stay awake on a plane than to fall asleep, so you can gauge for your future trips after trying it out the first time. Sleep deprivation plays a huge role in one’s jet lag symptoms. Unless you have unlimited PTO, you’ve probably already planned something on the itinerary for the moment you land to maximize your time. If it’s possible, try to schedule your flight a day before you have any activities to attend. If you weren’t able to adjust to your new time zone upon arrival, at least you have the breathing room to catch some sleep and be awake for your adventures the following day. When selecting your seat, you can also try to find a window seat where you won’t be disturbed when you’re trying to rest.
  2. Adjust your sleep schedule ahead of time
    Start a few days before your trip, either sleeping a little earlier if your new location is behind on time or sleeping later if it’s ahead. Your new schedule will help you get acclimated to the new destination time. Your biological clock will thank you. Tip: set your watch to local time at your destination. That way, it’ll be easier to close the gap of time to your new sleep schedule. If you have a hard time sleeping earlier, melatonin may be a good option to help you. Be sure to follow instructions for use beforehand and look for the words “non-habit-forming” on the label. If melatonin works for you, you can even bring it along on your trip to aid in getting your body clock on schedule. Avoid taking other over-the-counter “jet lag cures”–some can actually make symptoms worse and don’t agree with cabin pressure.
  3. Don’t nap longer than 30 minutes on ‘daytime’ flights
    If you’re taking a flight when it’s daytime at your new destination, try not to nap for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Doing this will prevent you from restlessness later when you land and it’s nighttime at your new time zone.
  4. Avoid drinking coffee, tea, or alcohol.
    We know, this can be hard, especially when you’re working on a flight or if you’re on vacation, but caffeine and alcohol are known as diuretics, which means they’ll actually dehydrate you–resulting in grogginess and sometimes even headaches.
  5. Drink lots of water
    Experts recommend drinking 6-8 oz of water per hour of flight to deter jet lag symptoms.
    We mean it. Even though it may seem like a hassle to constantly need to use the restroom, it’s a small price to pay for staying hydrated and diminishing the effects of jet lag.
  6. Take an empty reusable water bottle with you.
    Once you pass TSA, you can fill it up at a water fountain. Questionable water? Swap your regular water bottle for the LARQ self-cleaning water bottle so you always have clean water at your fingertips.
  7. Take walks
    Turns out, getting up to go the restroom more often will benefit you here! Taking walks–even if they’re short–can help improve circulation. Your body will thank you.

So you see, it’s easy to travel without the dreaded effects of jet lag. Try these simple methods to avoid travel fatigue, so you can not only survive a long flight, but THRIVE.


What is a sleep vacation and where do we sign up?

Ever come back from a vacation and needed a vacation from that vacation? Do you stress levels prevent you from sleeping well at night? Do you just need to get away from it all and rest for a once? Enter: sleep vacations. Yes, they’re totally a thing. 

In fact, sleep vacations have been on the rise for some time now and are offered at a number of destinations around the world by boutique hotels and larger chain hotels alike. The actual sleep packages offered by each of these establishments vary immensely and range from offering aromatherapy to guided meditation, to massage packages, premium bedding and more. They’re the perfect setting for unplugging and really enjoying that hard-earned time off. Sound good? Yup, we think so.


If you’re getting pumped reading this (we know we are), check out some amazing hotels we’ve rounded up that offer the royal sleep treatment.


#1 Westin Sleep Well Package

Hotel room at the Westin in new york Time Square Courtesy of The Westin New York Times Square Courtesy of The Westin New York Times Square


The Westin offers their Sleep Well Package in a number of locations nationwide, so wherever you are, sleep is within reach. The package includes their sleep well Lavender Balm (which they also sell in their online store), a $100 (USD) credit toward a spa treatment, and a $10 (USD) dining credit per night towards the Sleep Well Menu.


The Sleep Well Menu includes foods that are packed with amino acids, vitamins and minerals that promote restful sleep. After all, the key to healthy living is in the food you eat. The Westin’s really honed in on solving your sleep problems from the inside out.


#2 Kamalaya Koh Samui Sleep Enhancement Wellness Program

Kamalaya Suite Room in Koh Samui Southeast asian island Courtesy of Kamalaya Koh Samui


Kamalaya is located on the tropical island of Koh Samui, an island off the coast of Thailand. The Sleep Enhancement Wellness Program at Kamalaya is packed with amenities all around to help you improve your sleep. Packages can range but the standard package includes accommodation, 3 Kamalaya meals per day, roundtrip airfare, wellness consultations, Body Bio-impedance Analysis (BIA), traditional Chinese medicine, massage, and more. For those wanting a full-blown relaxation experience and detoxing, Kamalaya will do just that.


#3 Sleep with Six Senses

Dimly lit room with ambient lighting machine next to bed on nightstand at the Six Senses Hotel Resort and Spa Courtesy of Six Senses Hotels Resorts & Spas

Sleep with Six Senses was developed with sleep doctor, Michael J. Breus and implemented across select resorts in the Six Senses family. Some amenities from this upgraded experience include premium organic bedding (that come standard in all rooms), a sleep tracker, a 30-minute sleep consultation, a sleep bag that includes pajamas, an eye mask, earplugs, nose strips, nasal neti pot, and jasmine sleep spritzer. This place means business when it comes to sleep. They even include additional amenities for really troubled sleepers like a high-definition sound machine, specialty body pillows, and humidifiers/dehumidifiers. They’ve really pulled out all the stops to help you sleep deeply. As an added bonus, they also leave you tips on how to sleep better at home so you can take your newfound restful sleep to your own bedroom.


#4 Carmel Valley Ranch Hypno-health: Wellness for Mind & Spirit

Carmel Valley Ranch, California wrap around deck attached to suite Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch


Carmel Valley Ranch really wants you to sleep better and relieve stress. They offer a Hypo-healthy: Wellness for Mind & Spirit treatment at Spa Aiyana where Dr. Bee Epstein-Shepherd uses gentle hypnotherapy as a fast and effective way to reduce stress and promote deeper sleep. She will even teach you self-hypnosis techniques to use at home so you can rest better even after your vacation is over.


These hotels and resorts offer sleep vacation packages that are truly fit for royalty. Would you try one of these sleep retreats?