Archive | Travel

10 Tips to Quickly Unpack From a Trip

I recently returned from a road trip back home to attend my sister-in-laws super pretty backyard wedding.  Don’t worry you’ll get to see how cute it was soon.  When we returned from our 12 hour drive I had a strange amount of energy and got us unpacked so quickly.

After getting bags unpacked and put away so quickly I just had to share with you a few of the things I did to make it such a quick and smooth process.  I did a quick search and there are a lot of packing lists and checklists, but not many that will help you unpack quickly.  I’ll give you plenty of tips and tricks today, plus a free unpacking checklist to help you get it all done quickly.

How to unpack quickly from a trip, packing and unpacking tips, travel tips

1. Dump out all of your laundry right in your laundry room

No matter if you wore all of your clothes or not, washing everything that has been in your suitcase will give you a fresh, clean start.  Dumping it all out on the laundry room floor makes it easy to sort and start laundry right away.

2. Have a ready made meal for dinner

I highly recommend having a quick frozen meal ready to throw in a skillet or the oven once you return home.  You will definitely not feel like cooking after traveling.  Having something ready to go makes your life so much easier.  A great option is one of those one skillet Voila frozen meals.

3. Sniff Sniff

If you have gone on a road trip you most definitely will need to air out your car and make it smell nice again.  A simple way to do that is to place a cotton ball with a few drops of essential oil on it in your car for a day or two.  It will smell so nice afterwards.

4. Put your suitcases away right away

There’s nothing worse than feeling like it takes forever to unpack because your suitcases are left out.  If you get them put away right away the trip is visually over and you’re ready to get back into your routine.

5. Clean your house before you leave

Picking up big messes, making beds, and cleaning out the refrigerator before leaving for your trip will make unpacking so much easier.  Plus, coming home to a clean house is so much nicer than walking into a mess.

6. Keep separate bags

Keep toiletries and chargers constantly packed in a separate bag.  All you’ll have to do to unpack is take the bag out and put it away. No need to put everything inside of it away.  This means you’ll have a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, phone charger, etc. but they’ll all be grouped together and packing and unpacking will be a breeze.  All you will have to do is throw a toiletry bag in your suitcase and not have to fish out everything you need from your medicine cabinet.

7. Take care of the car

If you are taking a road trip, schedule an oil change or car detailing within a few days after your arrival.  Set this up before you leave to help you get back into your routine.  This will also take care of any car issues that may have come up on your trip.

8. Set a Timer

For procrastinators it may help to set a timer once start unpacking.  Have a time limit will help you get motivated to get everything out and put away.  Give yourself a prize if you need to for finishing unpacking before the timer goes off.

9. Don’t repeat

When unpacking, be sure to put like items together.  One way I do this is to put everything that needs to go back upstairs on the bottom step. This way I’m not running up and down the stairs a bunch of times, but can take everything at once.  If you use a central location to unpack, like your laundry room, you can even just make piles of items by which room they need to go back to.

10. Enlist Help

You probably didn’t go on a trip alone, so you shouldn’t be the only one doing all of the unpacking.  Get your husband, kids, or hey call a neighbor if you need to to help you.  Having someone sorting laundry while someone else is cooking dinner will make the unpacking go much faster.

Now that you’ve gotten some great tips, feel free to click on the image below to print out a quick cheat sheet to help you unpack.  I highly recommend just posting this in your laundry room or central unpacking area as a reminder.

How to unpack quickly from a trip, packing and unpacking tips, travel tips

Do you have any other unpacking tips?  If so be sure to leave a comment so I can reply.  I hope you get to go on a great adventure this summer! I’m sure it will be a breeze to unpack with these tips when you return home.



We’re Moving!

Well the day has come, whether we’re ready or not. It’s moving day!  Time to put the last five years of our life into boxes and say good bye.  It’s bittersweet, but now that the movers are here and we’re living out of suit cases, I’m ready to get this show on the road and get our life started in Colorado!

I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the next few weeks while we pack up, say good bye, and start our trek cross country. We plan on making it a fun trip by doing some sight seeing and visiting friends.  Be sure to follow along on Instagram to see all of our adventures along the way.  Plus, who wants to be in a car with a toddler for longer than 6 hours at a time, so we’ve got to break up our trip somehow.

San Diego to DenverI’ll be sure to post a full tour of the new house shortly after we arrive, so be sure to come back to see the inside of this beauty!

House PictureI just ask for your thoughts and prayers during our drive and throughout this transition, and thanks for all of the well wishes we’ve already received.  I’m very excited about this new chapter of our lives and think only good things are to come!

See you back here in a few weeks, but be sure to check out Instagram and my Facebook page for periodic updates!



The Daily Hostess is Moving!

Sorry that there weren’t very many posts this week, we were a little busy because…….we bought a house! Thanks to the military we will be moving on from southern California after five years here.  I love that the military keeps us on our toes and helps us explore new places and seek new adventures.  Moving is just a way of life when you’re in the military, but it’s a great way to meet friends that become family along the way.  The best part is that no matter where you go, you probably already know someone in that area and can usually pick right back up where your friendship left.

We are going to be moving to Colorado in about six weeks!  We will be southeast of Denver and we’re excited to explore a new area, meet new people, and be closer to family (only a 12 hour drive, vice a 3+ hour flight), perfect for long weekends and holidays!  Plus our town has the cutest little main street, complete with horse drawn carriage rides during the Christmas season!

It’s going to be bittersweet leaving our current house. Although we’re renting, having been here for 5 years makes it feel like ours.  It also goes without saying that we’re going to miss the mild SoCal temperatures and having a pool in the backyard.  Many a parties have been thrown here because it’s a great entertaining house, lots of family and friends have vacationed here, and we brought our baby home here.

That being said, I’m so excited to live in a house that’s ours and only ours, cue the none stop decorating ideas.  Literally as we were first viewing the home, I started deciding which cabinets our dishes were going into.  I can’t wait to be in a bigger space to stretch out and make it ours.  Plus, my husband can’t wait to have his own office and man cave since he has lost virtually every space in our current home, thanks to one tiny human!

House Picture

I’ll post a full before home tour once we get settled in.  I can’t wait to show you how beautiful this house is, so be prepared for a lot of home-centric posts and progress photos along the way.  It helps that the layout of the kitchen, dining room, and living room is going to be great for hosting parties, so, once we make some new friends, I’ll be sure to show you how we entertain in this new house.  A new home requires a lot of celebrating, we will definitely be planning a house warming party and reluctantly a going away party from our current house and friends.  I’m also scheming up ideas for an old fashioned cocktail party, what better way to make new friends than to invite the neighbors over for a cocktail and a little snack?

Now it’s time to get busy cleaning out, cleaning up, and getting ready for the movers.  I plan on using this free printable from iHeart Organizing to get our current home ready for us to move out.   Anyone have tips on moving with a toddler or long car rides with a toddler, because that’s in our future too?



Hosting Guests for the Holidays

My husband and I always joke that we’re operating a Bed & Breakfast because we typically have lots of friends and family staying the night.  Living in Southern California, a lot of our family and friends tend to swing through on vacation, or our military friends come to the area for work frequently.  It’s been great to get to see so many of our friends and family since we don’t live near the rest of our family.  Because we tend to host guests a lot, we’ve learned a few things to make our guests’ stay a good one, and a few things to help out those that are hosting.  I’ll be passing on my tips to you today so you can put them to use when Grandma and Grandpa, uncles or aunts, or the in-laws come to visit for Christmas next week!

Hosting Guests
First, you want to generally clean the area your guests will be staying.  I don’t go crazy with this, just wiping some things down and making sure the sheets are fresh.  You don’t want any dried toothpaste in the sink, right?

Next, I like to make sure my guests are taken care of in case I’m not able to cater to them directly, so I like to leave some snacks and water next to their bed for either late night munchies or early morning breakfasts.  Usually some sort of granola bar or trail mix.  This time Costco had a deal on Ghiradelli chocolates, so our guests got some extra fancy snacks.

Hosting Guests-snacks

Then to make our guests ability to get connected quickly, we have a little sign next to the bed with all of our wifi information.  All they have to do is type it in and they can save all of their data for when they’re out of the house.  I’ve blurred out our information in the pictures below.

Hosting Guests

It doesn’t hurt to make sure the room smells nice, by either using flowers, a Febreeze plug in, or some sort of air freshener.

Hosting Guests

I try to ensure that there is some space in the closet for their luggage, or to hang any articles of clothing, and provide some empty hangers to do that.

hosting guests-toiletries

In our guest’s bathroom, I leave a little basket of toiletries in case they may have forgotten something or didn’t want to hassle with the TSA restrictions on fluids.  Typically there are the basics, shampoo, conditioner, body wash or soap, and wash clothes.  Luckily a few years ago my husband was traveling for work a lot and brought home literally every toiletry possible from every hotel he stayed at.  Think Ross on Friends.  Because of that we have a wide variety of travel size toiletries that we use in the guest bathroom, including floss, toothbrushes, mouthwash, even travel size Q-tips.

Another bathroom tip when preparing for guests is to make sure there are plenty of towels easily available.  You’d hate for your guest to hop out of the shower and not know where to dry off.

Hosting Guests-Toiletries

Also, if your guest’s are traveling, especially flying, offer them a little something to eat when they show up.  Nothing throws off your meal schedule like flying through different time zones and only getting a small bag of peanuts or pretzels on the plane.

We recently stayed with some friends in Colorado, and they had the cutest welcome sign for us.  I thought it was such a special little touch!

Hosting Guests-Sign
Do you think these few tips will help you and all of your Christmas guests next week?  How many people are you hosting?  Have a great weekend before Christmas, and if you need to get those gifts wrapped, check out a recent post on wrapping paper resources here.



The Reason for Last Week’s Radio Silence

Happy Monday friends!  It’s good to be back, I hope you had a great weekend.  If you didn’t notice I wasn’t around this part of the internet last week.  I am currently in the Navy Reserves and had to do some work for them in Hawaii last week.  There are worse places to have to work, but I did miss my family and was glad to get home.  Today I’m going to share with you some of the things I did while I was there, call it a mini-trip report.  If you ever plan to go to Oahu, there is a lot to see and do, hopefully some of these tips will help guide you.

The view from my hotel balcony.

The view from my hotel balcony.

I was working on Oahu last week, and my husband and I used to live there when we were first engaged and married, so we have quite a bit of knowledge of the island and things to do. Being back there brought back so many memories of the beginning of our marriage!  It was fun to reminisce while driving around the island.

I was able to go on a Remembrance tour of Pearl Harbor on an Admiral’s barge which was pretty cool.  If you are into history at all visiting the Arizona Memorial and touring the battleship USS Missouri, is an awesome experience.  Seeing these things from the harbor on the water was even cooler.

The entrance to the boat house.

The entrance to the boat house.

The Admiral's barge, not the boat I was on, it's reserved for extremely important dignitaries.

The Admiral’s barge, not the boat I was on, it’s reserved for extremely important dignitaries.

It’s amazing to think of all the things that have happened in this harbor and it’s hard not to get a little emotional when you think about all of the sacrifice that was made here.

USS Utah Memorial

USS Utah Memorial

That gap in the tree line is the entrance to Pearl Harbor.

That gap in the tree line is the entrance to Pearl Harbor.

There are a ton of great places to eat around the island, but a one of our favorites is Roy’s, with a Hawaiian inspired, international menu.  We love going to the Hawaii Kai (the original) location right before sunset because the view is amazing.  If you’re in downtown Waikiki, another fun, more casual place to eat is Duke’s.  It’s right on the beach and always busy.  If you don’t mind, I recommend just sitting in the bar area, you’ll get a table much faster and maybe a table right next to the beach.  You can try the classic mai tai here, but boy is it strong!


If you’re headed around the island a few other places to try are the shrimp trucks on the North Shore, and Maui Mike’s in Wahiawa.

For breakfast, or anytime of the day really, you must try hot malasadas, emphasis on the hot!  They are delicious little round bits of fried dough rolled in sugar or stuffed with custard or chocolate.  Mmmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about them.  The best place to get them is at Leonard’s, there’s one in Waikiki and another food truck version in Waikele.


I also recommend stopping at the Dole plantation on your way to the North Shore, even if it’s just for their pineapple ice cream.  There’s nothing like it!

Obviously, there are a ton of outdoor activities on the island.  Surfing, kayaking, hiking, paddle boarding, relaxing on the beach, you name it, you can do it.  My favorite beach is Lanikai because the water is really shallow, perfect for just relaxing in the water, and it’s super warm.  Other’s like Kailua are really nice and Waikiki beach is good for taking surfing lessons or a catamaran ride, it’s just very busy with tourists.  Sandy’s beach has some big waves you can play in, just be careful, they’re pretty strong.  And the North Shore has a ton of surf competitions that are fun to watch.

There are also a ton of great hike’s around the island.  Most of them have great views from the top, but varying difficulty levels.  Some good one’s that are a little harder are Pillbox and KoKo Head, while Diamond head is pretty easy and has great views of downtown.  Maunawilli Falls is another great hike that ends at a waterfall with a pretty large swimming area.

Your trip to Hawaii wouldn’t be complete without going to a luau.  I highly recommend the Paradise Cove luau.  It’s a little pricy but the show and the food are amazing.  I could literally eat kalua pig every day!

Super old picture from 2009-ish.

Super old picture from 2009-ish.


Hawaii is a great place to go, but it definitely helps to know a few insider tips and places to go. Hopefully this Hawaii mini-trip report is a good place to start.  If you are planning a trip and want more thorough information be sure to let me know and I’ll do my best to give you the best advice.

Sorry I wasn’t able to post last week, but being in a tropical paradise was a little distracting.  I plan on getting back on track this week.  What did you do last week, anything fun?



Celebrating everyday!