It’s Never Too Soon to Plan Weekends Away for the Summer

After all the bad weather we’ve been having lately, I’m really looking forward to the summer. So to help me lift my spirits and prepare for warmer days I’m bringing you the Summer Series. This blog post was inspired by my friend and regular reader, Sandra Keros. She’s a total expert on how to unplug and recharge.

In the last post Sandra explained how she takes little mini-destination breaks in the day to get out of her house and be inspired by the world around her. Read more

Plan Mini Destination Trips to Recharge and Rejuvenate

I recently wrote a post on the importance of making time for myself now that I work from home. When your home is also your office it’s not easy to make as clear boundaries with your time. In the comments section of that post a friend and regular reader, Sandra Keros, wrote  that she likes to plan mini destinations to get out of her head and out of her apartment. What a great idea!

Since I loved it so much I got in touch with Sandra to talk more about her mini destinations and what she does. This is what she had to say:

“As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about and working on your business around the clock. From time to time, a little recreation is necessary to give yourself a break, have some fun, and “recreate” your thinking on projects you’re working on. Read more

Let’s Start Planning Your Summer Vacation!

Summer is here! It’s time to break out the sunglasses, the BBQs, the sandals and just relax. I’m sure the big buzz at your office right now is all about where everyone is going for their vacation. Some people have planned it a year in advance and others are hoping to snag a last minute deal. Either way it’s something for us to look forward to.

Like all other aspects of my life, planning is key  when it comes to vacations. Before I pick a spot I do a lot of research into the area, figure out where I’d like to stay and to eat. This helps me to know that I’m going to get the most out of my time there!

Here are a few travel resources  I’ve found to make sure I’m ready for the perfect vacation:

NextVacay – The first step for planning the perfect vacation is figuring out where you want to go. The idea behind NextVacay is totally brilliant. You input your closest airport and their software will sift through all of the flights going in and out to find when an airline is offering amazing deals. For instance, I put in NYC airports and I get emails about cheap flights to Bali, Lisbon and Tokyo.The more flexible your situation the better, plus it’s really good for people who don’t know where they want to go. You get 1 month free trial and after that it’s $25 for the year. So it’s relatively inexpensive to try and you could save a lot more.

TripAdvisor – So you know where you want to go, what’s next? Make the most of your trip, whether you’re briefly visiting a destination or staying for a few weeks. Definitely plan some time to cruise TripAdvisor. It really helps you to narrow down the best attractions to see which restaurants are worth visiting. I have major FOMO when it comes to these things so checking this site guarantees I won’t miss out. I love being able to check other people’s experiences and see their candid reviews. I always make sure to add my favorite and not so favorite places when I return. If you’re interested in reading some of my reviews you can see them here.

MeziSo you know where you want go and what you want to see, now you just need to book somewhere to stay. If you’re going to a big city or popular resort you can easily become overwhelmed by options. Do you pay a little more to be closer to the city center? Or stray further out and rent the whole apartment? Mezi is an app that helps you find the right hotel for you, based on your personal preferences. The twist is that it’s all done by artificial intelligence. It’s a little but futuristic and AI can use deep learning tools to search through hundreds of options and create links that we might not notice – it could find your perfect getaway! If you try the app I’d love to hear what you think about it!

Global Entry – I tell everyone I meet about this – it’s the best thing I’ve ever done! If you travel even one time per year, it’s worth doing. This program has several benefits for 5 years and a $100 price tag. First you are eligible for TSA Precheck within the United States. That means you get to basically skip the line at security, keep your laptop in it’s bag and forego taking off your shoes and sweaters. Plus, when you’re returning to the US you get to bypass all the lines! I wrote a blog post explaining why this is a must have for any regular travelers.

My Suitcase is Smarter Than Yours

I headed to Boston a few weeks ago to present at the Massachusetts Conference for Women. It was a very impressive conference. There were about 11,000 attendees and keynote speeches included Gayle King, Kevin O’Leary and Sarah Blakely.

I hosted a session called, (what else?) “Listful Thinking: Using Lists to Be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed.” There were lots and lots of amazing list makers in the crowd. I even signed my very first to-do list! I also signed a lot of books and I got to meet one of the long time readers of this blog – Eileen Wyner! She was also a member of my VIP Launch Team when Listful Thinking was published. Grateful to meet her and share list stories!

I also moderated a session called, “Work Life Integration: Lessons From the Trenches” where I got to use my skills as a producer and interview two executives from Boston Scientific. We all shared stories of when we realized there had to be a better way to be successful in our careers and also happy at home. My lesson came when my appendix ruptured earlier this year.

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Best Free Resources for Life Long Learning

For the first 18 years of our life we are focused solely on learning. We study, make flash cards and brainstorm new ideas. For some of us this learning goes on well into our twenties with college. But once we leave university, most of us move on from learning into the workplace and never really go back.

I loved learning when I was a kid and I always make it a point to learn something new whenever I can.  As a journalist I’m naturally curious and one of my favorite parts of my job is that I get to become an expert in many different subjects even if just for a day.   

Just because you’ve left school doesn’t mean you have to give up on life-long learning. In fact, many of the long-term bucket lists that I see include learning a language or new skill. But these long term goals tend to get overlooked because they can be quite costly or because people don’t think they have the time to achieve them. Read more