National Day of Adventure – Switzerland Trip Contest

 

Men’s Journal and Victorinox Swiss Army have partnered to bring to life the 2016 National Day of Adventure #NDOA, a new holiday dedicated to getting outside and tackling a new challenge. This day offers a great opportunity to embark on a new experience and live life in the moment.

On Friday, October 14, 2016 everyone is invited to take the day and try something outside his or her comfort zone. From rafting and hiking to learning to surf and joining in a city-wide scavenger hunt, on October 14, adults are encouraged to take a ‘skip day’ and do any fun, outdoor activity they have been delaying.

To further commemorate this exciting day, Men’s Journal and Victorinox Swiss Army have also partnered on a Switzerland trip for two giveaway contest. The grand prize winner will receive the following in prizes:

    • Business class airfare for two to Zurich
    • Hotel accommodations for 4 days, 3 nights in Switzerland
    • Two (2) Swiss rail passes for unlimited use throughout the trip
    • Two (2) tickets for a tour of the Victorinox Swiss Army Inc. knife factory
    • Two (2) tickets for a tour by Swiss Tourism

To learn how you can enter the contest, please read the contest rules below:

Official Rules for the “Men’s Journal Magazine National Day of Adventure Contest” 

NO PURCHASE REQUIRED TO ENTER OR WIN.

  1. Eligibility: Open to legal residents of the 49 contiguous United States and Washington DC who as of the time of entry are 18 years of age or older (must be at least age of majority in entrant’s state). Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void in Rhode Island and where prohibited by law.

2. Administrator: Men’s Journal LLC (“Men’s Journal”), 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104  —   Sponsor / Prize Provider: Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc. (“Victorinox”)

3. Agreement to Official Rules: By participating in the Contest, entrant fully and unconditionally agrees to and accepts these Official Rules and the decisions of the Administrator, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest.

4) How to Enter: 

a) Entrants may enter the “National Day of Adventure” Contest (the “Contest”) via Instagram and/or Twitter. Entrants should follow @mensjournal and @victorinoxswissarmy on Instagram and/or Twitter, and ensure that the “Photos Are Private” option (“Protect my Tweets” option on Twitter) in the settings on your social account is set to “OFF”. On your public (not protected) account, upload your photographic submission (“Submission”), keeping in mind the five objective judging criteria listed below, and in the caption for the photo/video include custom hashtags #NDOA and #NDOAcontest along with reply to @mensjournal; OR

b) Entrants may enter the Contest by mailing their name, address, as well as their Submission to: Men’s Journal LLC 1290 Avenue of the Americas New York, New York 10104. Attn: Entry For National Day of Adventure Contest to be considered. Entries must be postmarked no later than November 14, 2016 and received no later than November 14, 2016.

c) Entrants may also enter the Contest via Facebook. Entrants should “like” Men’s Journal on Facebook and post photos to the Men’s Journal Facebook wall, keeping in mind the five objective judging criteria listed below, using the hashtag #NDOA.

Limit one entry per person.  If more than one (1) entry is submitted, only the first entry received will be judged.  Contest begins at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on 9/28/2016. All Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on 11/14/2016. 

For further Submission dates and guidelines, see paragraphs 5, 6 and 8.

As a condition of entering this Contest, entrants consent to have their entry information submitted to Administrator and Sponsor. For details of Administrator and Victorinox’s policies regarding the use of personal information collected in connection with this Contest, visit Administrator’s privacy policy at http://www.mensjournal.com/services/privacypolicy and Victorinox’s privacy policy at https://www.victorinox.com/ch/en/Privacy-Policy/cms/privacy-policy.

By participating in the Contest entrants hereby agree to the collection and usage of their personal information and acknowledge that they have read and accepted the terms of both of these privacy policies.

No mechanically reproduced or computer generated Submissions permitted.  Not responsible for lost, late or misdirected Submissions, or Submissions containing incorrect or incomplete information.  Not responsible for any problems or technical malfunctions of any telephone network or lines, computer, on-line, or Internet systems or services, servers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or entry or confirmation or winner’s notice on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet, problems with the Men’s Journal website or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer resulting from downloading any materials in connection with the Contest.  Submissions become the property of Administrator and Victorinox and will not be acknowledged or returned.

5) Judging/Selection of Grand Prize Winner:

a) Submissions will be judged by a qualified panel of judges selected by Administrator and Victorinox (“Judges”) who will consider the following criteria (“Judges’ Criteria”): basic technique (20%), special technique (20%), composition (20%), subject/interest (20%), and creativity/originality (20%). In the event of a tie, the entry with the higher score first in the creativity/originality category, then in the special technique skill category and then in the subject/interest skill category will be declared the Finalist.

The questions below are illustrative of the types of questions and factors judges will take into consideration in assessing the outlined criteria:

Basic Technique: Is the focus appropriate for the subject? Is the depth of field appropriate?

Special Techniques: Have special techniques such as the use of multiple exposures, sandwiching, panning, or cross processing been used effectively?

Composition: Does the composition make effective use of leading lines? Does the framing work?

Subject/Interest: Does the subject have interesting connotations or associations? Are the colors and patterns effective?

Originality/Creativity: Does the image depict an original subject and/or approach to a standard subject?

Winner will be contacted by email or phone on or around November 20, 2016. Potential winner must execute an Affidavit of Eligibility/Release of Liability Form(s) within 3 days of notification, and must be available for a phone interview on or around November 20, 2016. Noncompliance, or return of prize notification as undeliverable or inability to contact winner within three (3) days after notification will result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner.  The Grand Prize winner will be announced on or about December 1, 2016.

The decisions of the Judges and of Administrator will be final and binding on all matters relating to the Contest.

6) Winner Prize:

a) One (1) Prize Winner will receive the following package (the “Prize”):   

  1. Hotel accommodations for 4 days, 3 nights in Switzerland.Two (2) tickets for a tour of the Victorinox Swiss Army Inc. knife factory.
  2. Two (2) tickets for a tour by Swiss Tourism. Time, date, location to be determined with winner.
  3. Two (2) Swiss rail passes for unlimited use throughout the trip
  4. Business class airfare for winner and one (1) guest from the major airport nearest to winner’s residence to Zurich.

 

b) Total ARV of the Prize: $10,000.  Actual retail value may vary. Winner will not receive the difference between the actual and approximate retail value. Certain restrictions and blackout dates may apply. Travel cannot be scheduled from July 21 through August 25. Travel must be completed by January 1, 2018. If Winner cannot complete travel by such date, Winner will forfeit the Prize in its entirety and Administrator may, at its option, either select a second place winner in his or her place or be relieved of liability for fulfillment of the Prize. Certain restrictions may apply. Winner is responsible for any expenses not expressly included in the Prize description, such as additional ground transportation expenses, incidentals, meals, beverages and any other expenses. Winner must have all documentation required for travel.

c) Victorinox reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. No substitution or transfer of prize permitted except as provided herein. Prizes are non-redeemable for cash. In the event of unavailability, Victorinox may substitute a prize of greater or equal value.

7) By entering this Contest, you agree to the following: 

a) SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

1. Submissions cannot:

– Have been previously submitted to any contest, sweepstakes, or promotion of any kind;

– Contain any trademarks, logos or copyrighted material (such as company names, music, photographs or works of art), unless such material is owned solely by entrant;

– Promote the use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons, any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous or any particular political agenda or message;

– Depict, or itself be in, violation of any law;

– Be obscene, sexually explicit, pornographic, offensive, illegal, hateful or obscene, or promote violence or harm;

– Contain any virus, Trojan horse or other harmful or malicious code; or

– Defame, impersonate, misrepresent, slander, libel or contain disparaging remarks about other people or companies, or violate anyone’s privacy.

2) Entrants must:

– Submit a photograph that is your (the entrant’s) original work, keeping in mind the five objective judging criteria listed above;

– Obtain written permission from each person who appears in the Submission, who helped create the Submission, or whose intellectual property is included in the Submission;

3) You shall be solely responsible for your own Submissions and the consequences of submitting and publishing your Submissions in the Contest. By entering, you affirm, represent, and warrant as follows:

– You own or have all necessary licenses, rights, consents, and permissions to publish the Submissions and to grant Administrator and Victorinox the rights to use the Submissions as set forth in these Official Rules.  Without limiting the preceding sentence, you represent that you have obtained all of the rights, licenses and permissions from each person that appeared in the Submission or helped create the Submission or whose intellectual property is included in the Submission.

– All elements of the Submission are your original work;

– The publication and use of the Submission as provided in these Official Rules does not and will not violate or infringe upon the rights of any third party, including without limitation contracts, copyrights, trademarks or rights of publicity or privacy; and,

– Administrator and its licensees, assigns and promotional partners (including without limitation Victorinox) will not be required to pay any money or incur any obligations to any person or entity as a result of their use, exhibition, publication or exploitation of the Submission in whole or in part.

b) Administrator (Men’s Journal), Victorinox and/or its designed representatives will review all Submissions received. If any Submission fails to conform to these Official Rules, or Administrator and/or Victorinox otherwise determine that the Submission is inappropriate, would reflect poorly on Administrator, Victorinox or the Contest or could adversely affect the reputation or goodwill of Administrator, Administrator may remove the Submission and make it ineligible for the Contest. Administrator and/or Victorinox also reserve the right, at Administrator’s and/or Victorinox’s option, to edit any Submission, including to omit third parties, or to require entrant to edit the Submission in order to make it eligible for entry in the Contest.

c) Administrator, and its licensees, assigns and promotional partners (including without limitation Victorinox) may edit, publish, copy, distribute, display, publicly perform and otherwise use, and license others to use and edit, your Submission, worldwide in any media, formats, editions, and derivations, now known or hereafter developed, for all possible editorial, advertising and promotional purposes without further permission, notice or compensation, except where prohibited by law. Submitting your entry constitutes your consent to give Administrator and Victorinox a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use, publicly perform, reproduce, modify, publish, create derivative works from, and display any such entry in whole or in part, in any media worldwide using technology now known or later developed, for any purpose, including for promotional or marketing purposes. If requested, you must sign any documentation required for Administrator, Victorinox or their designees to make use of the non-exclusive rights you are granting to use the Submission. By participating in the Contest, you agree that you provide your entry freely and without restriction, that you were not solicited or compensated for your entry, and that your entry will not place Administrator or Victorinox under any obligations other than those contained in these Official Rules. You also acknowledge and agree that Administrator and/or Victorinox is free to disclose the ideas contained in the entry on a non-confidential basis to anyone or otherwise use the ideas therein without any compensation to you. You further acknowledge that Administrator and Victorinox do not waive any rights to use similar or related ideas previously known to Administrator and/or Victorinox, or developed by their employees, or obtained from sources other than you. By entering the Contest, you understand and acknowledge that you will not now or in the future be paid or compensated in any way for your entry or for granting the Administrator and Victorinox any of the rights set out in these Official Rules. You further acknowledge that Administrator and Victorinox are not obligated to make use of any of the rights granted in these Official Rules. Without limiting the above language, Administrator and/or Victorinox may publish, display, publicly perform and use your Submission, Statement in Men’s Journal magazine and on mensjournal.com and its related digital properties, applications and social media, and in advertising materials for the products and services of Victorinox and on Victorinox’s websites including social media. You waive any and all “moral rights” or similar rights that you may have in any jurisdiction.

d) You consent to the use by Administrator and its licensees, assigns and promotional partners (including without limitation Victorinox) of your name, image, voice, likeness and biographical information worldwide in any media, now known or hereafter developed, for all possible editorial, advertising and promotional purposes without further permission, notice or compensation, in perpetuity, to the fullest extent permitted by law.  Without limiting the foregoing, you agree that your name, image, voice, likeness and biographical information may be used in advertising materials for the goods and services of Victorinox.  

e) You release and hold harmless Administrator, Wenner Media LLC, Victorinox, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, and each of their licensees, assigns and promotional partners, parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates and related companies, and the respective officers, directors, employees, agents, successors, licensees, and assigns of each of the foregoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any violation of any personal or proprietary right you may have in connection with the foregoing uses of the Submission and/or your name, image, voice, likeness and biographical information, including without limitation any claims of libel, slander, invasion of right of privacy, publicity or personality, or copyright infringement. You also will indemnify each of the Released Parties from any harm or injury (including damages, expenses and attorney’s fees) resulting from any third party claim that your Submission violates or infringes any copyright, trademark, privacy or publicity right, or any other right of a third party. A “third party” is anyone other than you or a Released Party.

f) Each entrant hereby acknowledges and agrees that the relationship between the entrant and Administrator is not a confidential, fiduciary, or other special relationship, and that the entrant’s decision to provide the Submission to Administrator for purposes of the Contest does not place the Administrator and/or Victorinox in a position that is any different from the position held by members of the general public with regard to elements of the Submission, other than as set forth in these Official Rules. Each entrant understands and acknowledges that Administrator and/or Victorinox has wide access to ideas, stories, designs, and other literary materials, and that new ideas are constantly being submitted to them or being developed by their own employees. Each entrant also acknowledges that many ideas or stories may be competitive with, similar to, or identical to the Submission and/or each other in theme, idea, plot, format, or other respects. Each entrant acknowledges and agrees that such entrant will not be entitled to any compensation as a result of Administrator and/or Victorinox’s use of any such similar or identical material that has or may come to Administrator and/or Victorinox from other sources.

8) Disqualification:

a) A participant may be disqualified and be ineligible to win the Contest, in Administrator’s discretion, if the participant:

– has been convicted of a felony or has felony charges pending against him or her;

– has been convicted of any crime (felony or misdemeanor) that, Administrator determines in its sole discretion, involves drugs or alcohol, domestic violence, or child endangerment or has charges of such crime pending against him or her;

– has an outstanding arrest warrant (felony or misdemeanor) against him or her; or

– is subject to a restraining order.

b) Administrator reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of rollingstone.com or who is otherwise in violation of the Official Rules. Administrator further reserves the right to cancel, terminate or modify the Contest in the event the Contest is not capable of completion as planned, including but not limited to infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, printing errors, or technical failures of any kind. In the event of a dispute as to entries submitted by multiple users having the same email account, the authorized subscriber of the email account used to enter the Contest at the actual time of entry will be deemed to be the entrant and must comply with these Official Rules. Authorized account subscriber is deemed to be the natural person who is assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, on-line service provider or other organization which is responsible for assigning email addresses or the domain associated with the submitted email address.  CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY PARTICIPANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR TAMPER WITH OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS.  SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, ADMINISTRATORS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH ENTRANT(S) TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

9) General: 

a) Employees, directors and officers of Administrator, Victorinox, and their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising or promotional agencies, and their immediate family members and/or those living in same household are not eligible.

b) All federal, state, and local taxes are the sole responsibility of the Winner, who will receive an IRS Form 1099 reflecting the final actual value of any prize valued at $600 or more. Should the ARV of the prize equal or exceed $600.00, Winner shall be required to provide a Social Security Number and necessary tax form to Administrator for issuance of a 1099 Form. Consult with your tax professional regarding potential tax implications.

c) As a condition of entering the Sweepstakes and winning the Prize, the Winner consents to his/her information (which may include contact information, Affidavits/Releases, and/or tax form) being sent to the Prize Provider Victorinox. Victorinox will make travel and other Prize arrangements for the Winner.

d) By participating in the Contest, entrants, Winner agrees to release and hold harmless the Released Parties from and against any and all liability whatsoever for any loss, harm, damage, injury, cause of action, claim, cost or expense (including without limitation any property damage, personal injury and/or death) arising out of or in connection with the (i) the Submission; or (ii) the Contest, including without limitation participation in any Contest-related activity, travel to or from any Contest-related activity, and/or possession, acceptance, use or misuse of any prize and for any claims based on publicity rights, copyright infringement, defamation or invasion of privacy.

Released Parties shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by any performer(s)/event(s), air carrier(s), hotel(s), or other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same. The passenger contracts in use by the airlines or other transportation companies shall constitute the sole contracts with respect to the Winner’s transportation and such contracts shall be solely between the Winner and such transportation companies. Released Parties shall not be parties to such contracts and shall assume no responsibility in this connection. Released Parties shall not be liable for any loss, theft or damage of cash, cameras, jewelry, securities, heirlooms, negotiable papers or other valuables.  Winner will be solely responsible for obtaining valid identification relating to acceptance and use of the travel prize. If in the judgment of Administrator and/or Victorinox, air travel is not required due to prize Winner’s proximity to prize location, ground transportation will be substituted for roundtrip air travel at Administrator and/or Victorinox’s sole discretion. Administrator and/or Victorinox will not replace any lost, mutilated, or stolen tickets, travel vouchers or certificates.

Released Parties are not responsible if the Contest cannot take place or if the Prize cannot be awarded due to travel cancellations, delays or interruptions due to acts of God, acts of war, natural disasters, weather, acts of terrorism, interruptions in transportation, power or communication facilities, labor strikes or lockouts or any other cause beyond Released Parties’ reasonable control.

Administrator and/or Victorinox’s failure to enforce any term of these rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

e) Winner acknowledges that Released Parties have not made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation, or guarantee, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to any prize, including but not limited to its quality, mechanical condition or fitness for a particular purpose. Any and all warranties and/or guarantees on a prize (if any) are subject to the respective manufacturers’ terms therefore, and Winner agrees to look solely to such manufacturers for any such warranty and/or guarantee.

f) ARBITRATION and WAIVER OF CERTAIN DAMAGES: As a condition of participating in this Contest, entrants agree that (a) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, consequential or any other indirect damages, (b)  all causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved exclusively by arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association before a single arbitrator located in New York County, New York; and (c) any and all claims, judgments, and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred including costs associated with entering this promotion, but in no event attorney’s fees or any equitable or injunctive relief.  Disputes arising from this Contest, or any matter arising therefrom, whether direct or indirect, will be determined according to the laws of the State of New York, without reference to its conflict of laws principles.

g) This promotion is in no way endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter or any social media.

10) Winner’s List: 

For the name of the prize winner, until December 21, 2016, send a separate, stamped, self-addressed, No.10 envelope to: “Men’s Journal National Day of Adventure Contest” Attention: Men’s Journal Marketing, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104.

 

JetSetter Series – Cuba: Off The Beaten Path

In this week’s JetSetter Series, we catch up with Trusted Travel Girl’s Valerie Wilson on travel tips for a jaunt to the magical and mystical land of Cuba.

Being one of the first American women to legally  visit  Cuba when it was on the brink of change, I am often asked for advice on travel to the country. Well, my greatest piece of advice is, run, don’t walk. Things are changing quickly and it soon will not be the place you have heard about and imagined. Once you get there, here are some of the best ways to spend your time.

During the extent of a fifty-four-year embargo , Cuba has remained a mystery to the American public, yet with the recent move to re-establish relations with the US, curiosity seekers can now see what the country really has to offer.  What travelers will soon come to realize is that all of Cuba is a museum. Now that everyone seems to be jumping on the Cuba bandwagon, the best way to visit Cuba is to have some experiences that few tourists will have.

HersheyTrain_Cuba

Visit History

Take the train to Hershey. At the same time Hershey was in Pennsylvania, there was also Hershey, Cuba. Milton Hershey first visited Cuba back in 1916 and is said to have fallen in love with the country at first sight. He immediately purchased a plantation and a mill to produce Hershey chocolate. In 1946, Hershey moved out due to political instability in the country, however, there are some remains still intact (very few). Adventuring outside of the tourist zones will always be worth the trek, even if there isn’t much to see. This is the best way to make memories, engage with locals, and head out on an adventure. Taking the train to visit Hershey is a great way to do this.

Cuba_TrustedTravelGirl

Engage With Locals

Seek out and talk to the local Cubans about what they like to do, where they eat, where they hang out, what they think of new relations with the US, baseball, food, music. But try to avoid a conversation about politics. Learn where the best secret local hangouts are from talking to them and about what their lives are like.

Cuba_Casa

Support Cuba’s Growth

Stay at Casa’s instead of hotels. My favorite options in any travel experience are the ones that lead me to live like a local resident instead of a tourist. With the first tastes of growth and further development, Cubans are taking advantage of letting you rent space in their residence, much like a bed & breakfast. Spanish for “home,” casas are one of the most affordable options for lodging. This is an amazing opportunity to interact with the locals and break bread with your host family.

I always jump at the opportunity to interact with locals and see how they live their day-to-day lives. Concerning Cuba, it is an exceptional time in history for Cubans especially those venturing into the untamed waters of further growth in a still very much communist nation. The people that are renting rooms and working in tourism have quickly had their lives changed for the better. Most rooms rent for the equivalent of $30/night. Just to put that into perspective, the majority of Cubans make $40 a month. Although it’s taxed, that money is going directly into the pockets of the Cuban Entrepreneurs. Staying in a casa can offer any traveler an unmatched insight into Cuban culture. Even if you happen to be the type of traveler that enjoys the amenities offered by a hotel, one night at a casa for the experience certainly couldn’t hurt.

Cuba_Beaches

Get A Tan

The Cuban beaches are some of the best in the world, however, there are some local secrets. When interviewing my friend Frank Alpizar,  one of the most sought after tour guides in all of Havana I asked him what is the place most tourists don’t see in Cuba that they should. “There are beaches near Havana where tourists barely go because they consider it to be very Cuban, but they should go there. They should go to the beaches, both on the east and west part of the city, because they normally go to the islands, and they’re nice but they’re very touristy. You should go to the beaches where Cubans go”. His suggestion is a beach by the name of Santa Maria.

However you decide to spend your time in Cuba, make sure you understand that you are visiting a place that has been largely closed off to much of the world for decades. Remember that it is not a glamorous destination, however, with its expected growth and development, the country is changing quickly. Streets and buildings are in disrepair, hotels are oversold and having a hard time keeping up with demands from guests. Bring your patience, an open mind and you will be sure to have one of the most incredible life experiences. Bring too many expectations, and you will ruin it. Most importantly, get away from the other tourists and discover the real Cuba.

Cuba_Valerie

To learn more and connect with Valerie Wilson, visit TrustedTravelGirl.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TrustedTravelGirl.

JetSetter Series – A Guide to Some of Summer’s Best Festivals

(Photo: Wilderness Festival by Andrew Whitton)

Summer’s finally here and let us all collectively rejoice. The days are longer, the temps are warmer and it’s the most ideal time to take advantage of the countless festivals around the globe. Whether the festival is local to you or a plane ride away, you can enjoy everything from live music, cinematic masterpieces, delectable eats and treats, or even enrich your mind. With the help of our friends at Conde Nast Traveler, The Zoe Report, Fodor’s, and The Independent, we’ve compiled an ultimate list of summer’s best festivals – near and far. If you can’t make it this year, don’t fret, just take notes and plan accordingly for next year because these festivals only get bigger and better with time. Enjoy!

Roskilde

Where: Roskilde, Denmark

When: June 25-July 2, 2016

Created by two Danish high school students, Roskilde has evolved from a hippie gathering ground to a mainstream music festival. The four-day extravaganza attracts an international following and features performances from more than 3,000 artists. Bands include a mix of contemporary and lesser-known performers, and visitors can watch their favorite artists perform inside large tents. Don’t be surprised if you see a few scantily clad attendees; on the Saturday of the festival, Roskilde Festival radio hosts a naked run around the campsite.

(Source: Emily Wasserman, Fodor’s)

Montreux Jazz Festival

Where: Montreux, Switzerland

When: July 1-16, 2016

Set on Lake Geneva’s picturesque shoreline, the Montreux Jazz Festival attracts a global audience. Founded in 1967 as a jazz-only festival, Montreux has since evolved into a two-week-long showcase that attracts more than 200,000 music enthusiasts. Jazz legends Ella Fitzgerald, B.B. King, and Miles Davis were early performers, but blues and rock artists such as Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, and Prince have also made appearances over the years. Performances don’t end on the shore; visitors can catch themed shows from boats and train cars.

(Source: Emily Wasserman, Fodor’s)

Panorama

Where: Randall’s Island Park, New York City

When: July 22-24, 2016

Can’t make Governors Ball? We got you. This year brings us the first-ever Panorama festival, which also takes place on Randall’s Island. From the peeps behind Coachella, the event promises an interesting fusion of music, art and technology. Expect great bands (Arcade Fire, Alabama Shakes, Kendrick Lamar, LCS Soundsystem and Sia among them) as well as technology-inspired installations and awesome food, all taking place from July 22 to 24. Is it just us or is Randall’s Island the new Indio?

(Source: Sari Anne Tuschman, The Zoe Report)

Traverse City Film Festival

Where: Traverse City, Michigan

When: July 26-31, 2016

Believe it or not, Northern Michigan is an incredibly beautiful part of the country. Film buffs can find that out for themselves by heading to the Traverse City Film Festival, July 26-31. Founded by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, the event reels in independent, documentary and foreign films. Moore’s goal is to preserve the art of cinema while screening truly great movies that “entertain and enlighten.” What a novel concept. This one’s for you, movie buffs.

(Source: Sari Anne Tuschman, The Zoe Report)

Lollapalooza

Where: Chicago

When: July 28-31, 2016

Few music festivals carry the same name recognition and star power as Lollapalooza. Created in 1991 by Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for his band, the festival has since evolved into an extravaganza of musical performances, dance, comedy, and crafts. Lollapalooza hosts more than 160,000 visitors over a three-day period and has helped popularize artists ranging from Pearl Jam to Ice-T. Although the festival initially focused on alternative and indie rock, it has expanded with eclectic performers and smaller sub-genres. This year’s headliners are Paul McCartney, Metallica, and Florence + the Machine.

(Source: Emily Wasserman, Fodor’s)

Osheaga

Where: Montreal, Canada

When: July 29-31, 2016

As summer nears its end, Osheaga gears up in Montreal. Held annually at the scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau, the three-day musical festival includes five stages and performances from a diverse lineup of artists. Festival-goers can jam out to popular indie rockers or listen to mellow, up-and-coming folk artists while taking in the city skyline. Set times vary based on the status of each performer, with emerging artists opening the show and headliners concluding with longer, 90-minute sets. Consider getting to town a week early, as the city hosts concerts and exhibitions prior to the main event.

(Source: Emily Wasserman, Fodor’s)

Wilderness Festival

Where: Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

When: August 4-7, 2016

Head to Oxfordshire for a taste of rural paradise at Wilderness, which this August features exclusive UK sets from Robert Plant and The Flaming Lips. Music aside, mouthwatering food is served at famous long table banquets great for meeting like-minded people. Wellbeing workshops, a carousel and boutique camping strike the perfect balance between relaxation and revelry.

(Source: Jess Denham, The Independent)

Outside Lands

Where: San Francisco, CA

When: August 5-7, 2016

If Coachella is a little too much of a scene for you but you love music, Outside Lands might be your jam—literally. From August 5 to 7, Golden Gate Park becomes the site of this beloved San Francisco music festival, which boasts headliners including LCD Soundsystem, Radiohead and Lionel Richie this year. A few things are practically guaranteed at this Northern Cal fun fest: The crowd will be littered with tech guys sporting tees emblazoned with their start-up’s logo, and the weather is always unseasonably cold so pack layers (like down layer—seriously).

(Source: Sari Anne Tuschman, The Zoe Report)

Flow Festival

Where: Helsinki, Finland

When: August 12-14, 2016

Summer doesn’t last long in Helsinki, which may account for the especially appreciative vibe that permeates the Flow Festival. Located in an edgy, industrial section of the city, the fest will feature those trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack, Iggy Pop, Sia, and the neo-‘80s Brit-rock sensation, Savages.

(Source: Jim Farber, Conde Nast Traveler)

The Nantucket Project 

Where: Nantucket, MA

When: September 22-25, 2016

If you want to expand your mind or change the world and TED seems too intimidating, The Nantucket Project–taking place on Nantucket, Massachusetts September 22-25–is for you. Some of the best minds of our time (last year that included Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, musician Neil Young and, ironically, TED founder Richard Saul Wurman ) are tasked with giving the lecture of their life, many of which turn into TNP Idea Films. The topics covered and lectures given are not only fascinating and often brilliant, they’re thought-provoking–like, really. Doesn’t sound like your cup of tea? Think about this for a second: In 2014, the festival featured an appearance by the hologram of Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where she has been given asylum. If that isn’t the weirdest, coolest thing you’ve ever heard, we don’t know what is.

(Source: Sari Anne Tuschman, The Zoe Report)

Desert Trip 

Where: Indio, CA

When: October 7-9 & 14-16, 2016

We thought someone was joking when they told us The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Paul McCartney were on the same bill. Then we realized Desert Trip was a real thing, and all of our dreams were coming true for two weekends in October (7-9 and 14-16), on the same grounds–and produced by the same team–as Coachella in Indio, California. Tickets sold out fast, but as anyone who was ever lazy with their Coachella tickets knows, there is always a way. Some people are calling it “Oldchella” but we prefer, “Woodstock, The Redux.”

(Source: Sari Anne Tuschman, The Zoe Report)

MAKING THE PERFECT STEAK WITH KARI UNDERLY

We caught up with Kari Underly, Author of James Beard Award-Nominated The Art of Beef Cutting, Butcher, and Principal of Range, Inc. to get her thoughts on what makes a perfectly cooked steak.

 

The Good News: Perfection is Relative

What does it really mean to create a perfectly cooked steak? Only you can answer that, because perfection is in the eye (and mouth) of the lucky eater. “Perfectly” cooked beef is an equation of these variables: amount of cooking (doneness) + flavor + food safety = perfect steak experience. Your palate will tell you when you’ve found the perfect steak. But the tips below may get you closer to achieving your steak masterpiece. 

  1. TENDERNESS: Let the Cut Determine the Cooking

The number one reason that steak may not be tender or flavorful is that we choose the wrong cooking method. It’s important to remember that meat composition is approximately 72% water, so cooking is really about managing moisture loss. Marrying the cut with the perfect cooking method means determining which grade of the cut you are going to buy—Prime, Choice, or Select—and then considering the type of heat (moist/dry; direct/indirect), marinades or other applications to tenderize or add flavor, and knowing which flavors ultimately enhance the flavor of your cut.

  1. FLAVOR: Kari’s Top 10 Flavors for Steak

For Select or Choice grades of steak, a good marinade, rub, or spice paste can be a huge boost. These flavors enhancers, when formulated with an acid—like citrus juice, yogurt, or wine—or an enzyme—like papaya or fresh ginger—can also tenderize your steak. Certain ingredients go particularly well with the natural flavors of beef, because they enhance the umami flavor. Include them in your marinade, rub or spice paste, or serve side dishes containing them for a great combination of flavors.

  1. Onion
  2. Garlic
  3. Tomato*
  4. Wine (mainly red)*
  5. Thyme
  6. Cayenne
  7. Soy Sauce*
  8. Cumin
  9. Mustard
  10. Ginger

* enhances natural umami flavor of beef

  1. DONENESS: It’s Done When It’s…

A dried out, tough, overcooked steak—especially an expensive Prime or local pasture raised cut—is a complete waste. Use this guide to doneness and a thermometer to prevent a tragedy. And in using your thermometer, make sure you remove your steak from the heat 5° to 10° before it reaches the desired level of doneness. It will continue to cook even after being removed from the heat. Then, as the fibers of the meat start to cool, they will relax and get stronger, thereby better retaining the natural juices. If you cut your steak too soon after cooking it, the steak’s juices will come flowing out. Of course the amount of time to rest depends on the size of the meat. For steaks, 10 minutes usually does the trick.  Please note the grass or pasture raised beef tends to cook a bit faster, do not leave your grill for long!

MEDIUM RARE 145ºF

MEDIUM 160ºF

WELL DONE 170ºF

Cutlery + Steak for kari Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. NUTRITION: Steak is Good Food

Beef is natures multi-vitamin! Beef is rich with important nutrients and protein. The acronym “ZIP+B” is an easy way to remember the most important nutrients found in beef: Zinc, Iron, Protein and the B-vitamins. To get the equivalent nutrition in 3 oz. of cooked beef, you’d better be hungry, because here’s what you’d need to eat:

Zinc = 40 oz. of salmon

B12 = 22 oz. skinless chicken

Iron = 2 3/4 cups of raw spinach

Riboflavin = 13 1/2 oz. white tuna meat

B6 = 6 1/2 cups raw spinach

 

  1. PORTION: The biggest small change you can make

Many people think they have to eat organic, grass-fed beef to make a difference, but what if that isn’t available near your home and you still want to help the environment? The biggest small change you can make that really adds up is eating the right portion size.

The recommended serving of protein at one meal is 4 ounces raw (3 ounces cooked). That’s about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. If you eat the right amount, you can buy less meat. Slowing down the pace of animal production because of lower demand helps the environment. The added bonus is in helping your waist-line: you’ll be reducing your calorie intake if you eat the right portion size.

 

butcher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be your #butchersbestfriend.   Ask for my favorite cuts.

  1. Beef Ribeye Cap Steak whole. Grill and cut across the grain.
  2. Prime Dry-aged Ribeye Filet. Use a two step cooking method.  Caramelize filets in a pan and finish in the oven.
  3. Picanha – Top Sirloin Cap Roast. Cook indirect on the grill, cut across the grain and enjoy!
  4. Berkshire Pork Tomahawk Chop. Use a two step cooking method.  Caramelize chops in a pan and finish in the oven.
  5. Farm Roast spatchcocked chicken. Cook indirect on the grill
  6. Bottom Sirloin Bavette flap. Marinate for flavor, grill and cut across the grain.
  7. Lamb Top Sirloin Chops. Simply grill, cooks in just a few minutes.
  8. Bison Burger. I like medium to medium rare!
  9. Flat Iron Steak. I have to have this one on the list, I helped introduce this cut to the market place.
  10. Pasture raised Pork Pluma. This is the whole short rib muscle like you would cut from a beef. This is an amazing cut, ask you local butcher for this one.

Now that you have Kari’s tips, butcher like a pro with her favorite knives, Victorinox Cutlery! Kari’s favorite knives and tools for butchering are:

  1. Victorinox 8″ Curved Breaking Knife, Rosewood Handle
  2. Victorinox 6″ Semi-Stiff Boning Knife, Rosewood Handle
  3. Victorinox Curved Granton Edge Cimeter, Rosewood Handle
  4. Victorinox 12″ Straight Butcher Knife, Rosewood Handle
  5. Victorinox 7″ Meat Cleaver
  6. Victorinox Performance Shield Cut Resistant Gloves
  7. 12″ Round Honing Steel, Combination Cut Black Plastic Handle

Want to take a Master Class with Kari and learn more about Cutting & Preparing Grass-Fed Beef? Kari will be at the Boston Public Market this Sunday, April 24th from 1-5pm. Details below, click here to register.

FINAL Butcher Flier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Kari on social media!

Instagram and Twitter: @Kariunderly

Facebook: @KariUnderly2002

JetSetter Series – Ski Trip Packing Guide

In this week’s JetSetter Series, we catch up with Trusted Travel Girl’s Valerie Wilson on packing tips before hitting the slopes for an adventurous ski trip.

Ski Trip Packing Guide:

Skiing is an expensive sport and going on a ski trip is a generally a costly investment in a vacation. Therefore, you want to be sure that you are well prepared. Lift tickets certainly aren’t cheap and neither are condos or hotels near the mountain. Ski gear is also pretty expensive, so it’s crucial to be sure you’ve got the right gear.

I’ve compiled a list of some must-have items to secure an amazing trip. Although some of these items may be no-brainers for expert skiers, for the novice skier many of these items can easily be overlooked. And, even if you have been skiing for years, there may still be a tip or two in here that you could use.

I have listed the below items in order of importance.

Custom Ski Boot

The boots that you are in are far more important than your skis. Let me guess, you are thinking “It’s called ‘skiing’, not ‘booting’, how could boots possibly be more important than skis?”. Allow me to explain. At the end of the day, skis are skis and unless you are an advanced skier, chances are you won’t know the difference if your ski has both a rocker, a camber both or neither. You will, however, notice if you are in pain from your ski boots; bad boots can ruin an entire trip, even for the most advanced skiers. It doesn’t matter how great of a skier you are, if your boots don’t fit properly than you aren’t able to activate and control your ski properly. This can lead to poor form on the mountain as well as injuries like torn ACL’s. Poor fitting boots will also lead to cold feet, which can be miserable. Ski trips aren’t cheap, so invest wisely and get a custom fitted boot. Boots aren’t cheap, and a custom fit boot does cost a little bit more, but it is well worth the investment, even if you only go on one ski trip a year. My custom boots are the Fischer Vacuum boot. They run between $500 and $1000 per pair, but are well worth it.

valerie-ski-fischer-boots

 

Ski Boot Packing Tip: Pack your ski boots last. If they don’t fit in your suitcase, an easy solution is to sling them over your backpack. I just Velcro mine together and sling them over my Big Ben backpack from Victorinox. Easy, and helpful if you are an over packer.

Helmet

Almost everyone on the mountain wears a helmet these days, and the people that don’t just look like an accident waiting to happen. A helmet does not make you look lame. I don’t care how great of a skier/snowboarder you are, you are only as safe as the person next to you on the mountain and when they lose control and crash into you, you’ll wish you were wearing that helmet. Additionally, they are comfortable, they don’t fall off like hats, they keep expensive goggles secured so they aren’t lost and they keep your head warm. Most helmets even have a place for headphones to be put in. It’s a no brainer, keep your head safe.

Goggles

You need goggles when you ski to protect your eyes from the elements and to help you see when it’s extremely sunny. For goggles, one of my favorite companies is Zeal. They never fog up on me. The peripheral vision in these goggles are incredible, and you will look like an all-around badass in these. Even if you don’t ski well, you can still look like you do.

Hydration Pack

You wouldn’t go to the gym for an hour without water, so why would you ski all day without it? Having water while skiing is completely necessary, and carrying a Camelbak water pack is the absolute best way to do that. The one caveat is that you absolutely have to empty and dry them out or they could get moldy.

Chapstick

Cold dry air will chap your lips faster than anything. I always keep chapstick readily available in a pocket of my ski jacket. Just separate the things you are accessing (chapstick, snacks, camera) from things that you don’t need falling out of your pocket on the lift, like credit cards, cash and keys.

Layers!

When skiing, it’s all about the layers. Pack base layers, fleecy second layers and of course your ski jacket. The point of a base layer is to draw out any perspiration away from the body so that you don’t get sweaty and eventually cold. If you don’t dress appropriately you will be cold and miserable.

Extra Mittens/Gloves 

Bring an extra pair of gloves! They can get soaked from days when it’s dumping hard or if you sweat in them at the beginning of the day. I always have cold hands, so I look for top quality when choosing a pair of gloves. My favorite brands are Swany and Hestra, they are both top quality, and will last a long time.

Boot Dryer Sticks

Just how poorly fitting boots can ruin a ski trip, wet boots can be pretty miserable as well. You will need boot dryer sticks, they will not only dry your boots overnight, but they will warm them up on a chilly morning before you slide them on. They are inexpensive and extremely portable.

Snacks

Pack snacks! When skiing all day you are bound to get hungry. Long days on the mountain burn a ton of calories and you will need to fuel up. I prefer to wait as long as humanly possible to go into the lodge for anything because when the skiing is good, you want to stay out on the snow, especially while everyone else is busy in the lodge. Chairlifts are a perfect place to pull out a pocket-sized snack. My favorites are granola bars and fruit snacks, however, one of my longtime ski buddies swears by having a bar of chocolate for the chairlift.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen. You read that correctly. Unless you want a goggle tan, you may want to bring sunscreen if it’s sunny and you are at a high altitude. Especially for any spring skiing conditions.

Neck Warmers

You’ve got your ski pants, and coat, but do you have a neck warmer? You 100% do not want to head out the door without one.

The Right Socks

The rule with socks is the more the merrier. A thin, ski specific wool sock is key. Always bring a second pair for the day to keep in your day bag in case they happen to get soaked before lunch. Another secret is to wear a different pair of regular socks on the way to the mountain. Going between the cold outdoors and heated indoors while loading up your car and driving to the mountain can cause feet to sweat a little bit, and damp socks will get cold in your ski boots, fast!

Ski Lock

Sadly, not everyone on this planet is trustworthy so keeping a ski lock in your pocket is always advisable. Additionally, for an additional charge some resorts have a ski check.

However, I always like to be sure that my gear is safe so I ski with a small ski lock in my pack or pocket.

Pro tip: If you forget this one, you can always separate your skis. You simply put one ski and pole on one rack and walk the other ski and pole to another ski rack area. This makes it more difficult for a thief to find both skis, and more difficult to steal a pair.

Velcro Ski Strap

You can purchase one of these at most ski shops. This simple strap will help you hold your skis together so they aren’t separating on you during transit.

Altitude Sickness Medication

Are you heading to high elevations? If you are, I advise that you talk to your doctor about a prescription for Diamox. I take 250mg 2x a day beginning 24 hours before arrival. I gradually work my way to 1/2 that dose. It helps you get acclimated, and prevents vicious altitude sickness.

Ski vacations are a whole lot of fun, but can be hell if the proper gear isn’t packed. Print out this list of tips above and you will be sure to be as prepared as the pros!

Valerie_ski

To learn more and connect with Valerie Wilson, visit TrustedTravelGirl.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TrustedTravelGirl.

 

JetSetter Series – How [Not] to Pack

 

Travel and packing. The enduring conundrum we face with every new trip. Recently we shared with you some incredibly useful tips for creating the ultimate packing list courtesy of Mom’s Guide to Travel’s Tawanna Browne Smith. But what about the flip side – what NOT to pack? There is definitely an art to knowing what not to pack for trips short and long. Adventure Journal recently wrote about this side of the equation in their March 15th post “How [Not] to Pack for a Big Trip”. Inspired by their post we wanted to share with you our spin on ‘helpful’ tips on how not to pack for your next trip.

Pack at the very last minute:

You may have known about your upcoming trip for some time now. You may have even gotten all forms of reminders (email, text, snail mail, you name it!) about checking in for your flight, confirming your hotel reservation, or picking up your rental car. You might even have a very detailed itinerary lined up for your vacation. You’ve probably told anyone and everyone that will listen you’ll be out of the office from this date to that date. You may have even pulled your travel gear out the closet with the hopes of getting an early jump on packing. The stars are finally beginning to align for your much-needed break. But, with each day closer to your departure, you still haven’t packed a thing. It’s okay – nothing beats the thrill of a panic attack induced by last-minute packing. Nothing!

Pack things that are totally unnecessary:

You’re planning an exotic beach adventure and will most likely make time for crushing some waves, so you’ll definitely need your snowboard on the off chance it, well, snows. While you’re at it pack half of your winter wardrobe, just in case it gets chilly on the tropical island you’re visiting that has never been less than 85°F. You prefer reading on your tablet, but don’t want to risk losing power, so why not pack all five hard cover copies of those books you were planning to cross off your list while sunbathing. Surely, you won’t need the extra space in your travel bag for souvenirs.

Leave all the essentials at home:

“I don’t have my passport. And I think I forgot my credit cards. And my camera charger. And my I.N.O.X. watch. I know we’re about to pull up to the airport, but we need to turn around so I can grab everything I forgot at home.” Don’t you just love that feeling of adrenaline pumping through you at the thought you may miss your flight to the tropical destination you’ve been dreaming of for years? You enjoying living life on the edge – and you can always catch the next flight out tomorrow, right? And, your travel companions of course won’t mind.

When in doubt, overpack:

At this point, you’ve done just about everything right for your upcoming trip. Now, your Uber driver is calling incessantly to let you know they’re outside waiting, texts or calls from your travel companions are beginning to inundate your phone to ensure you’re on the way to the airport, and you’re still trying to zip up your travel gear. Your vacation couldn’t be off to a better start. It’s likely you’re doing just about everything to close your bag – including asking the Uber driver to sit on your bag to help it close – because just maybe you packed entirely too much ‘just in case’ stuff for your trip. Feeling success when you finally get the bag zipped – thanks Uber driver! – paying that $100 overweight bag fee at the check-in counter feels like a badge of honor.
Have a great trip!

JetSetter Series – Travel Tips: Packing for Spring Break Lists

Spring is in the air which means that Spring Break travel is almost here. Thankfully the snow has melted for most of us. As we start packing for spring break, lists are void of bulky items such as winter socks, turtlenecks and long johns. Unless of course, you are traveling to the slopes for Spring Break.

Either way, the true savvy traveler knows that packing is hassle-free given the right tools. Aside from a great bag, the most important tool in your packing routine is your packing list.

 

Why a Packing List?

In a nutshell, lists help to keep us organized. It doesn’t matter what type of list it is or what the list is for, lists help us to get stuff done. Our eyes and our brains love lists.

Pic 2

Why? According to neuroscience, most people can’t hold more than four things in their mind at a time.

  1. Lists serve as a quick way for us to get important information.
  2. They provide order to our thoughts.
  3. They keep us on task (productive).
  4. They allow us to remember things.

See what I just did? I wrote a list. It was a not-so subliminal way of reinforcing the information.

Lists in Everyday Life

Think about the last time you went to the grocery store without a list. Did you remember to pick up everything or did you forget something? Chances are you forgot something.

It’s okay to admit it. It doesn’t mean that you’re getting old.

Even the youngest of organized grocery shopping moms carries a list. That many superstar organizers can’t be wrong. If they use lists as their weekly routine, you probably should too.

Now let’s apply this idea to packing. The average traveler takes two to three trips per year. Routine travelers are on the road almost weekly. If you are in the former group, travel is occasional. It isn’t a constant. For habitual travelers, activities like packing are a constant and become part of a routine.

In general, if something isn’t routine for us, 98% of the time we forget one of the actions in the sequence. Packing lists help us to remember particular actions.

 

Lists Help With Efficiency

Lists also help us avoid over-packing. If we go through the motion of writing down everything we need by “seeing” our items on a piece of paper, we’re more likely to self-edit and pack less.

When we just “throw n’ go” (aimlessly throwing items in our bags) we tend to forget what’s already in our luggage. Inevitably we pack more than what we need.

Writing items down and checking them off as you go is a sure-fire way to pack efficiently.

Pic 3

 

So What Should You Pack for Spring Break?

What you pack for Spring Break really depends on where you go. Your  Spring Break packing list for the slopes is going to look much different than your Spring Break packing list for the beach. However, here is a list (there goes that word again) of some essential items:

ID                                       insurance cards,              camera,

batteries,                          chargers,                           cash/ credit card,

umbrella,                          hair products,                  styling tools,

toothbrush/paste,          deodorant,                        body wash,

lotions,                             face cleansers,                  vitamins,

socks,                               undergarments,                pajamas,

clothes,                            sunglasses,                        shoes/ flip flops/ boots,

swimwear,                       insect repellent,                sunscreen,

makeup,                           perfume/cologne,            razors

goggles,                            plastic baggies,

You can either write down this list or if you want to make your life easier order a pre-designed packing list, especially if you are traveling with family.

Family packing lists like the one below are convenient and are itemized for each member:  mom, dad, son/daughter, and an infant.

Pic 4

 

Now everyone can join in on the fun. Aside from the baby, these kind of lists allow each person to pack for themselves.

Whenever you decide to travel, whether it is for Spring Break or for a casual getaway, employ lists to take the hassle out of packing. You will stay organized, remember things, and pack more efficiently. As a bonus, you might even pack a little faster.

Tawanna Browne Smith of Mon's Guide To Travel
Tawanna Browne Smith of Mon’s Guide To Travel

 

 

Author Bio: Tawanna Browne Smith is the Managing Director of MGTTravel Media and the Editor-In-Chief of MomsGuideToTravel.com. She is a business consultant, family travel writer, influencer, and travel planner for moms. Tawanna has been traveling on her own since she was 13, picking up packing tricks throughout her many adventures. She recently spoke on behalf of Victorinox Swiss Army at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show about packing. Tawanna is the wife of a Navy Chief and the proud mom of two energetic boys.

JetSetter Series – Ronnie & Phoebe of Many Many Adventures (blog)

Google “traveling as a couple” and you will find article after article worth of recommendations on how best to avoid letting it “make or break” you as a couple. As a pair that’s traveled to more than 40 countries together, American Ronnie and Australian Phoebe of travel blog Many Many Adventures know a thing or two about how to avoid letting differences hinder their adventures. Read on for the couple’s top packing tips and recommendations on traveling together.

 V: Between the two of you, you’ve done your fair share of traveling. You guys must be pros at packing your bags by now?

P: I have to be honest: packing has been one of my biggest flaws as a traveler! I agonize over what to bring and what to leave, and then just shove everything in a bag. I always end up with too much of the wrong stuff, having left the essentials behind. To be fair, that does have a lot to do with the fact that my plans tend to change according to my latest whim, so I very rarely end up on the journey I thought I started.

For example, when I set off for my year overseas, I planned to “move” to one city and live there for a year, so I packed a backpack, a duffel bag, and a purse! In reality, I ended up ditching nearly everything I’d brought with me, buying a whole bag of new stuff and visiting ten different countries in eight months!

R: She’s still terrible at packing. I, on the other hand, have always been a very light packer. When Phoebe and I met in Costa Rica, I had somehow managed to fit everything I needed into a 20-liter backpack with room to spare!

P: It’s been a bit different since you discovered your abiding passion for camping equipment!

R: That’s true! Now we tend to pack together and try to take as little as possible… unless we are going camping. We have both been on enough budget airline flights to know it’s always better to fly with a bag that will fit under your seat and (if you can help it) no checked luggage. It’s certainly much easier to do this if you are going somewhere warm, otherwise, save your bulkier items to wear on the plane.

 Ronnie and Phoebe - On The Road Again

V: What are some of the different luggage combinations you’ve come up with for when you travel together?

P: If we are going away for the weekend we will just take a backpack for our clothes and a handbag or shoulder bag for our laptops, books and toiletries. It’s always a challenge to choose just one pair of shoes, but I usually go for something I can walk in without getting blisters!

R: Our favorite kind of traveling is going by van or by car, stopping for the night and waking up somewhere new every day. When we can take a little more, we like a bag that’s sturdy and spacious, so we can shove all our hiking and camping gear inside and throw it in the back.

P: Since my family lives in Australia and Ronnie’s family is in Washington, we often have to fly for longer trips, and for those trips I need something on wheels. I find airports to be the worst places in the world, and lugging an unwieldy bag around is tortuous!

 

V: Apart from going home to see family, what are some of the destinations you plan to visit in the near future?

R: It would be a shorter list if we tell you the places we don’t plan to visit! In the near future, as in the next two years, we will be based in Chicago, so we plan to explore more of the U.S.

P: Definitely camping and hiking in Colorado and Yosemite!

R: Definitely. But we are also really excited to make it back to Central America for some backpacking. We met in Costa Rica, so that part of the world is pretty special for us.

P: That will definitely be a packing-light trip!

 

V: Where did you travel last time you were in Central America? Where would you go next time?

P: We traveled together for a week or so, around northern Costa Rica, Santa Teresa, Mal Pais – beautiful little surf beaches. We both went down to Panama separately and stayed in Bocas Del Torro, which is very touristic, but amazing.

R: It’s basically a bunch of beach huts dotted around a series of tiny little islands – you have to go everywhere by boat; and the nightlife is very cool. Phoebe was only there for a few days but I stayed for nearly a month!

P: When we go back we really want to go to Guatemala and stay by the lake. We have a friend who worked in a hostel there for three months a few years ago, and the way she described it made it seem so tranquil and beautiful. I also really want to go to Antigua for a few weeks and take one of the Spanish immersion courses they do – they’re famous for them!

Enjoying a beautiful beach on their latest excursion

V: So you both started out traveling alone, and now you travel together most of the time – are there any funny stories you guys have about times when it’s been hard to work together or compromise?

P: We’ve been really lucky for the most part because we’re both pretty easy going, but there have definitely been times when we are both tired, and broke, and the weather is terrible or we get lost, and one or both of us has just had enough. Those are the times when we have to remind ourselves that no matter how well we pack, or how much research we have done, there will always be something we have forgotten or something that will go wrong.

R: One time, it almost ended our trip before it had begun! Last year we had planned this amazing three week excursion in New Zealand; we had hired a van, we got all this camping equipment together, we researched different hikes we could do and places to visit, and we both packed our backpacks according to a very particular little check list. Halfway down the road to get the bus to the airport, I turned to Phoebe and said: “Do I need a visa to get into New Zealand?”

P: It was just something that I hadn’t thought of because, as an Australian citizen, I didn’t need one. There was some very panicky Googling at the bus stop, and luckily, it was all fine…until I realized I had no bus pass and no cash!

R: Miraculously we made it, and it was such a great trip. We want to go back to do a longer version of it one day: six months, and all the major hiking trails! There are plenty of moments when things go wrong and you feel like the world is going to end, but that’s not just traveling, that’s life! Figuring that stuff out as you go along is how you learn to plan better (and pack smarter) for the next time.

 

To learn more and connect with Ronnie and Phoebe, visit ManyManyAdventures.com or follow them on Twitter and Instagram @ManyManyTravels and @ronnietravels, respectively.

 

 

GE Innovation Challenge + Victorinox Paring Knife?!

The Victorinox 4” paring knife was selected to be a toolkit component for the most recent GE crowdsourcing challenge, as a part of the company’s “Open Innovation Center of Excellence.” ‘Solvers’ who participated were asked to develop innovative inspection technologies for aviation parts inspection – our 4” paring knife was used to replicate a blade commonly found within aircraft engines. Its size and razor sharp edge made it the perfect proxy for this task!

To learn who won this year’s GE Innovation Challenge read the winner announcement news release here.

And, to learn more about the GE Aviation Inspections Challenge visit the program information site here.

JetSetter Series – Filmmaker and Author Joe Baur – Part II

Today we’re picking up where we left off last week with Victorinox JetSetter Joe Baur, an author, writer and filmmaker currently living in Costa Rica. Joe is all about sharing authentic experiences, and were lucky enough hes agreed to share some with us! Read on to hear more from Joe on his travel tales from Costa Rica to Switzerland.

Let’s talk gear and packing. What’s your preferred travel gear for longer trips? Duffels? Roller bags?

I prefer a duffel bag if I’m working my way through a crowded city. San José, for instance, is chaotic during the day with an interesting take on sidewalk construction. Rolling a bag just becomes a nuisance. In Europe, the design might be more logical, but a roller doesn’t do too well over cobblestones. If, however, I know I’m going someplace with a more modern layout, I’ll save myself the arm workout and go with a roller.

 VSA Travel Tip: Terrain demand a duffel? Try the CH-97 2.0 Alpineer Spacious Wheeled Duffel, which can also be wheeled, or the CH-97 2.0 Mountaineer Duffel Backpack, which converts into a backpack.

What are the top 3 items you always bring with you when you travel?

Video camera, my backpack and my sense of adventure! Just kidding on the last one. That’d be unbearably cliché. Let’s go with snacks.

Cleveland is very near and dear to you—what are some of your favorite things to do there?

Cycling and hiking around both the Cleveland Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Otherwise, I love taking the train to Ohio City or Shaker Square and hopping around various breweries. Cleveland, when you allow it, can be very walkable. So if nothing else, I’m a big fan of going on long walks around the neighborhoods—especially after I’ve inevitably downed a Happy Dog hotdog full of eggs and chorizo..

You’re an avid cyclist. How long have you been involved with that?

Really just about a year. I was fortunate enough to be the American winner of BMC Switzerland’s granfondo contest, which meant getting an incredible bike in early March of last year, and having one month to train for the 245-kilometer Ronde van Vlaanderen in Belgium. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.

Joe Baur takes on the Ronde van Vlaanderen 5

When you set out on a long bike trip, how do you go about packing?

In Switzerland, we were spoiled enough to have a company shuttling our bags from city to city, so they were ready for us when we arrived. The same goes for the aforementioned Ronde. BMC Switzerland had a SAG wagon for us, so they held on to any extra clothing we needed to remove during the day.

As far as food goes, I’m a huge fan of Cliff Bars. If I’m hungry before riding, I’ll eat one and bring one or two more along for my ride depending on the distance.

What would be your dream path after you graduate this summer?

If Anthony Bourdain inexplicably gives me his job and ignores the millions of other people wishing for the same thing. Seriously though, I want to continue traveling the word and sharing those experiences with people. Right now I only have the budget to support creating videos that are basically travel-music-videos that give viewers a snapshot of the destination along with some music from a band local to the area or country featured. Hopefully such a day will come when a microphone can be added to the works in order to create something more like Modern Enlightenment where I shared my travel experience living with Tibetans in exile in Northern India, putting in a little humor when appropriate.

If I can [use a little humor to] help open up the world a bit more and make people less afraid of places that might be off the tourist trek—I’ll be a happy man. That, plus my face on a Switzerland unlimited transit ridership card.

To learn even more and connect with Joe, visit joebaur.com or follow him on Twitter and Instagram @BaurJoe