travel tips for weekend getaways

Saturday’s weather in Jersey finally felt like spring, and there is just something about a sunny, warm day that makes the travel bug in me start to grow.

Traveling is one of my favorite things in life. I firmly believe that everyone should take the time to travel — whether it is to a new city or state, a quick weekend getaway near or far can help you clear your mind and give you some new perspective on life.

While the weather in NJ is still fluctuating between the 17th installment of winter and the beginning stages of spring, I am already working on my travel plans for the coming months. Read on for some of my best travel tips for a weekend getaway!


  • Do your research, but don’t over-plan: As someone with a type-A personality who cannot live without a planner or iPhone calendars, this was hard for me to learn — but once I did, I realized how much more I could see and do when visiting a new place. Look up a couple of restaurants and some activities that are unique to the area, and then leave the rest up to chance. Speak with people who live or work in the area, and ask them for their recommendations. From visiting Welcome Centers to speaking with hotel staff and Uber drivers, I have found some of the best places to visit. There is nothing like great recommendations from locals!
  • Get up and go!: While vacations are notoriously known for being a time to relax, you do not want to sleep your entire trip away, especially if you are only away for a weekend. Set your alarm, head out early and take advantage of having a full day to explore.
  • Give yourself a day to do nothing: Exploring a new place is the best part of traveling. When Connor and I visited Charleston, we set aside one day to spend downtown, walking through parks, popping into boutiques and checking out rooftop bars. Having no schedule gave us an opportunity to see all that the city has to offer without having to rush from one place to another.
  • Plan one nice night out: Whether you are away for two days or four, planning a night out where you can get dressed up, wined and dined is always enjoyable. Whether I am with Connor or my best girlfriends, our travel plans always include one night like this! It is a great way to unwind, reflect on your trip so far and enjoy a great night out, celebrating your relationship or your friendships with one another!
  • Put the phone away: There is nothing worse than missing out on what is right in front of you because you are spending time on the phone, staying up-to-date on everything happening back home. Turn your phone on airplane mode while you are out, and use it only for photos. Being a little disconnected from the world for just a little while is incredibly refreshing, and it gives you time to appreciate everything around you.

Try out these travel tips for your next weekend getaway. Happy traveling!

how to maintain long-distance friendships

Growing up, one thing I always took for granted was just how close my friends and I all lived to each other. Almost all of my friends lived anywhere between a 5 to 20 minute drive from my home. As we have gotten older, those quick drives have turned into hour-long commutes, whether it be by car, bus, train or plane. Living far from friends can be difficult; however, the friendships are not impossible to maintain. Here are a few tips for keeping your long-distance friendships stronger than ever:

IMG_6104Find the halfway point between you and your friends
A long commute is not that bad all of the time, but now and then it can become tedious. Find the halfway point between all of you, and start researching the towns in that vicinity. Not only will it cut down the time it takes you to be reunited with your besties, but it also gives you an opportunity to explore new places together!  

Plan a trip
Visiting a place you have never been to before is a great way to be reunited with your friends and satisfy your travel bug. Whether it is a new city or a new state, vacation time with your friends gives you something to look forward to and plan out together.

Send a care package
If you have friends who moved far from home, they may be feeling homesick, especially at this time of year. If your besties cannot make it home for the holidays, send a care package with their holiday and hometown favorites to cheer them up!

Schedule time to see each other
With everyone having lives of their own, plus the distance between you all, the days of calling up your friends 15 minutes before you want to do something are long gone. Whether you meet for dinner and drinks or an afternoon of binge-watching Netflix in sweats, planning a day to get together in advance guarantees you and your friends will get to spend time with each other.

By far, this is the easiest way to get your best-friend-fix when you cannot see each other in person! While a spontaneous FaceTime call is always welcome from friends, setting aside planned time each month helps make sure you stay in touch and up-to-date on each other’s lives. FaceTime also now has a group chat option, but if you don’t have an iPhone, try using Snapchat’s video chatting feature!

I hope these suggestions help keep you and your friends closer than ever, despite the distance between you all! Do you have other ways you maintain long-distance friendships? Feel free to share them with me in the comments below!

motivation monday: how to stand out at work and advance your career

I truly believe in the phrase, “if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.” While it can be difficult to discover what it is that you love to do, I am a firm believer in working hard and never settling. That mentality helped me land a job and advance my career with my dream company in under four years. If you find yourself needing some motivation at work, here are my five tips for ways you can stand out and advance your own career:

Be passionate about what you do: I have had a few jobs since I graduated college, and while I liked and did my best work at all of them, I have to admit that I did not have the same level of passion for those jobs as I do for my current job. My dedication to my work combined with my determination to do well fuels my passion, which helps me be a better leader and employee because I am truly invested in the outcome of my work and the work of my team. I love the industry I am in, and that makes going to work each day enjoyable — no matter how crazy the day can get! When you love what you do, people will notice; figuring out your passions and developing them into your career will always inspire you to work hard and do well.

Step out of your comfort zone: Pursuing opportunities that stray from your job requirements is a great way to stand out at work. It is so easy to slip into the routine of showing up for work each day, performing the same job, leaving and repeating this cycle for the rest of the week, so change it up! Search for new challenges that you otherwise would not encounter in your day-to-day duties, whether it be working with another department, taking on a new assignment or traveling for business. Stepping up and out of your comfort zone will help you network with other employees within your company and may open up doors to opportunities you did not realize existed.

Learn to say yes: Be willing to go the extra mile and put in more work than your daily job duties require. Show initiative at work by always helping others, being reliable, taking on new challenges or working on special projects. Sometimes saying yes all the time does not come with an immediate benefit; however, it will always pay off in the long run. Being the person that your boss, your team and other departments can rely on will help you go far in the workplace.

Find a mentor: We all need people to look up to in life, and the same goes for in the office. Find people who inspire you in your field and talk to them. Find out how they got into the industry you are in, what their career trajectory was and what their successes and their failures were. Ask for advice on how you can follow a similar path to them, and then act on it. Finding people whose work ethic you admire, who are well-respected by others and who do their jobs extraordinarily well is important when searching for mentors. Remember, do not look at those around you as your competition; instead, look to them for inspiration and motivation to become an even better employee.

Become an expert in something: While all aspects of your job should always get your full attention, dedicating a little extra time to learning more about a facet of your industry will be extremely beneficial. Communicate with individuals who are knowledgeable about your industry, study and learn as much as possible so that you can become a subject matter expert on something related to your job. Taking the time to learn more than what your job requires will help you stand out to your peers and leaders, and it will help prepare you for whatever your next step within your industry may be!

If you work hard, learn as much as you can and develop new skill sets, you will definitely stand out as a professional in your field. A strong work ethic combined with passion will take you far in any industry, and when you have the opportunity to do what you love every day, it is extremely rewarding.

I hope these tips help you find some motivation at work this Monday!