Wandering the White Tank Mountains

I spent a little over a week in Glendale, Arizona, and I wasn’t getting back on a plane to Dallas without seeing some desert mountains.

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I was managing a conference, which meant free time came in random bouts. Some friendly employees at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa recommended White Tank Mountain Park since it’s not too far from the hotel.

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It didn’t take long to see that these mountains were a nice recreation area. I passed people with everything from walking sticks to picnics. I also passed a lot of snake and mountain lion signs.

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Whoops….someone wore the wrong shoes. In my defense, when I packed for this trip, I didn’t think I’d have any free time at all. Never one to let fashion stop me, I was off to explore what I could in the time I had.

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When I use the term, “wandering” in this post title, I’m not exaggerating. I drove around and tried to make sure I didn’t get lost since someone was expecting me to come back… you know, to do my job and stuff.

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Here’s a little more of what I captured while wandering.

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I wish I’d have had the opportunity to spend more time here. There are tons of good turn offs to stop, park and wander. You can find more information on the park here.

Have you ever been to White Tank Mountain Park? Favorite place to wander?

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Friday Findings 2.19.2016

It’s a short post this week because I didn’t have as much time to read as usual. Here are my fun findings! Quality over quantity, right?

How Much Does It Cost to Travel the World for a Year? My 2015 Expenses via Never Ending Footsteps– This is the one of the most thorough posts I’ve EVER seen. Love it!

The Fall of Materialism: Why More Millennials Aspire to Have Nothing via Elite Daily– Anyone else a minimalist?

Aldo

source

pablo

source

And….we’re off to the weekend! 🙂

Preparing and Packing for an International Trip

Two weeks ago, I went to the Dallas Travel and Adventure Show. My favorite thing about the show, and the real reason I go, is the speakers. This year, the first presentation I saw was from Angel of angelstravellounge.com.

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I consider myself a minimalist, but I can always use some new ideas to prep and pack, and that’s what the presentation was all about. So, let’s get to the notes, shall we?

ID’s, prescriptions and luggage, oh my

  • Call your credit card companies and bank. Specifically, ask to speak to someone in the fraud department and let them know about your travel plans. Don’t just tell the person who answers your call originally.
  • Copy the first two pages of your passport in color, and get extra official passport photos to carry with you. If your passport is lost, call the US Embassy or Consulate. Having copies and extra photos will save you a great deal of time and trouble.
  • If you are taking prescriptions on your trip, have an official doctor’s not on hand. Make sure it states the prescription name and what the prescription is for.
  • Keep your immunization records with your passport.
  • Keep your original documents in an RFID travel wallet.
  • Make sure your luggage tags include your name, email and phone. Use more than one bright tag, so your luggage is easy to find.
  • Don’t forget a TSA-approved lock! A bright lock is another easy way to identify your bag.

Money, currency, moolah

  • Do not exchange money in the US. You’ll be charged a commission and you won’t get the best exchange rate.
  • Exchange money as soon as you get to a bank ATM
  • Use a bank, not a foreign currency converter ATM, for the best rate and low fees.
  • Test your hotel safe 3-4 times before leaving your valuables inside.

Packing, storing and securing

  • Carry your passport and day money under your clothing. Be discreet when removing money.
  • Use packing cubes to keep clothes flat and to save tons of room. I have these, but after seeing Angel’s from Eagle Creek, I might need an upgrade. Angle just did a video on these bags so check it out!
  • Pack outfits that you can coordinate. By packing similar colors and items you can pair different ways, you’ll save space and still feel good about what you’re wearing.
  • Pack extra Ziploc bags. You never know when they’ll come in handy.
  • Ask your pharmacist to give you flat containers for prescriptions, rather than carrying larger bottles.
  • Vaccum pack fleece and winter items, and use another empty bag for laundry.
  • Pack all electronics i your carry-on. There’s no way I’d risk losing my camera or phone on a trip!

That covers the highlights of the presentation, although the best part for me personally was seeing the Eagle Creek bags in action. I have absolutely no reason to ever carry a large piece of luggage again.

Do you have any prep or packing tips?