Solo Travel Tips for Women

I'm no stranger to traveling abroad, but up until my recent trip to Paris and Vienna, I've travelled with a friend, significant other or my sister. Even with how spatially aware and type A I am, there are some things that are just out of your control. No matter how smart or savvy you think you are, the truth remains you are in a foreign country and the most important thing is your safety.

I've compiled a list of 6 travel tips for women traveling solo.

  1. Make sure you are connected at all times. Whether that's paying a couple hundred extra for an international phone plan that month or renting a portable Wi-Fi /data router from the airport, make sure you are able to reach your loved ones, hotel, etc. Verizon has an affordable “pay as you go” option, where you can have Wi-Fi and data overseas for $10/day.
  2. Use Uber over local taxi services. This one is probably me just being so fucking "American" but after watching Taken a handful of times, you want to make sure you have the information for your taxi driver and are able to track where you're going and being taken. When I landed in Vienna, I had ordered an Uber and as I was waiting in the designated Uber pick up area and a man came up to me and asked me what my name was and if I ordered an Uber and then he proceeded to convince me he was my Uber driver. Even with the travel and sleep deprivation, this didn't seem right to me. Uber drivers will have your name and in return, you will have the name and license plate for the Uber driver picking you up.  There is no reason the driver should have to ask what your name is and you always have a "checks and balances", being able to verify the license plate number on your driver’s car.
  3. Leave your flashy ass shit at home. Let’s be honest I’m a sucker for designer bags. My go-to is a very notable Chloe bag, in red no less and my favorite “going out” bag is my Gucci Dionysus cross body but I leave those at home when traveling. Carrying anything that is noticeably flashy makes you a target for getting pick pocketed or robbed. Don’t put yourself in a Kim K situation and just carry your less conspicuous items. This goes for your electronics as well. I used to travel with my laptop ALL the fucking time because I would convince myself that after being out all day, I’d come back to my hotel and blog or work. That never happens. I just started not even bringing them on my trips and not only do I not worry about it getting damaged or stolen, it saves a lot of weight in my luggage. Cameras… I know I know, if you don’t have that iconic photo in front of the Eiffel Tour, were you even in Paris?! iPhone’s have great photo taking capabilities these days, so if you’re not a photographer/blogger/whatever leave the expensive equipment at home. I travel with my Canon EOS M3, it’s a small and lightweight, easy to travel with camera that takes great photos. I also will only bring one of my lenses. I have three different ones for this camera, but I pick one and stick to it.
  4. LoJack yourself. Apple and google products have some variation of Find My Friends. I will always activate find my friends for when I’m going on sketchy bumble dates so why not for when I’m abroad by myself? This is a good way for someone back home to always know where you’re at.
  5. Pack a whistle and pepper spray if you can. The whistle will be totally fine in your carry on. I’ve been able to travel with pepper spray because I pack it in my checked luggage. Note to self: There is no way you’ll be able to get through TSA and international securities with pepper spray. So if you want to pack it, check it!
  6. Try to limit the amount of foreign currency you have on hand. I’ve always hated carrying cash. Long story short, when I was in elementary school my mom was robbed at gun point bringing back a large sum of cash to my family market. Since then, the idea of have cash on me scares me. I always have a small amount in the currencies of the countries I’m going to for taxis, tips, etc. But I’m lucky because my credit card has no foreign transaction fees (I have the Capital One Quicksilver Card). For those of you who travel international quite a bit, it is a good idea to look into so you don’t have to carry so much cash and you don’t get charged those transaction fees. I’ve included some banks/credit cards below that offer zero transaction fees:
    • Chase Sapphire Preferred
    • Citi ThankYou Premiere Card
    • Starwood Preferred from American Express
    • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
    • Bank of American Premium Rewards Credit Card
    • Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
    • Platinum Card from American Express

I hope ya’ll found these tips useful and realistic. I’m always annoyed when travel tips tell me to go register with the local Embassy’s. Yeah, that’s probably a smart thing to do, but will you really do it? If you’re like me, the answer is probably no. Haha. But these six travel tips are things I always follow when abroad. Happy travels!

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Hong Kong: VIP Experience at Hong Kong Disneyland

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Hong Kong Disneyland is located on Lantau Island, probably 45 minutes outside of HK Island. The day Amanda and I flew into Hong Kong, our friends picked us up and we headed straight for the Disneyland Hotel. It was such a magical place—we had a character dining experience that night, had Disney dim sum at Crystal Lotus for breakfast the next morning and we were supposed to then be off to Disneyland. Unfortunately, a typhoon 8 put a damper on our Disney day so we went the following week after we got back from Macau.

Amanda and I were lucky enough to experience a VIP Tour of HK Disneyland with Angel and her family. I haven’t been to any Disneyland since, and I’m almost scared too because I now it just won’t be the same without our lovely tour guides Oscar and Winnie and all the private attraction experiences. So spoiled, haha. Hong Kong Disneyland isn’t the largest park but it didn’t have any less Disney magic.

We started off our experience and headed straight to the Emporium for some HK Disney specific Minnie ears. I wanted so many but, I refrained and bought one pair. I have about 20 Minnie ears total! Once we were suited up in our Disney gear, Oscar and Winnie our lovely guides took us to Tomorrowland and we went on the new Iron Man Experience ride. For those of you familiar with Disneyland USA, the Iron Man Experience is the equivalent to Star Tours. This was one of the best Disney attraction experiences I’ve ever had because we got to have a private experience, aka no one else but me, Amanda, Angel and Oscar were on the ride. How cool is that?!?!! After the ride, we got to head to the Stark Industries Tech Showcase and “meet” Iron Man.

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After our Tomorrowland fun we headed back to Main Street and had afternoon tea at the Corner Café. So many cute Disney themed snack, sweets and drinks! After tea we continued down main street to watch one of the day parades. People swarm to watch these parades and we were lucky enough to have our own sectioned off area to view the parade without being in tight quarters with everyone else.

Because we visited HK Disneyland in October, they had their Halloween maze going and OMG I was so scared. I almost cried a couple times and definitely used Amanda as a human body shield more than once. Oops! After the Halloween Maze we used our last hour at HK Disney to run around like kids and get on as many rides as we could. We did three thanks to our buddy Oscar! We ended the night with dinner at one of the restaurants at the Disney Explorers Lodge.  Honestly, we could’ve had dinner on Mars and I wouldn’t have been none the wiser. I was sooooo tired from such a jam packed Disney day.

Big thank you to our lovely friends and tour guides for such an amazing one of a kind experience!

Vienna, Austria: Hallo Vienna

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I had no idea what to expect when deciding to go to Vienna. I have a friend who I hadn't seen in 10 years, currently living in Austria, so when I was deciding between Stockholm and Vienna, I decided with Vienna. Even if I had expectations of this city and country going in, they would have been exceeded tenfold. The best way I can put into words a description of Vienna is that it's almost as if you're walking through a real-life fairy tale. I didn't have any sort of plan for my trip to Vienna, I looked up a couple sights I thought would be cool to see or attractions to experience and I rolled with the punches. 

On my way to Hofburg Palace, I probably got sidetracked a handful of times by other beautiful buildings or Viennese coffee houses. That was probably my favorite part of this trip... the fact that I was able to wander. Many of you know that I normally travel with my best friend Amanda, and I absolutely love it. I think it's really hard to find people you're very compatible traveling with. My philosophy is that traveling makes or breaks relationships. The same can be said of friendships, there are some friends you can travel with and there are some you can't. Amanda and I are both pretty go with the flow. So I never have to worry about us having to keep to some sort of schedule. But there's something about traveling by yourself that is incredibly empowering and euphoric. (My blog post for females travelling solo will be up this week)

I'm a sucker for history and old buildings. I love being able to walk down a street or alleyway and know that the buildings that stood there lived through some of the greatest and worst moments in human history. It's honestly so fascinating and humbling. While I was in Vienna, I was able to do a tour through Mozart's old apartment right in the city center of Vienna, and it's almost chilling to know that the place I was standing was the exact same place where Mozart crafted some of his biggest masterpieces over 200 years ago. The other "attraction" I experienced was the Catacombs Tour under St. Stephan's Cathedral in Stephansplatz right in the City Center of Vienna, or 1st District as it's referred to (how very Hunger Games). To be able to walk through St. Stephan's Cathedral itself is free but the catacomb tour is 5 euros and you pay the tour guide at the end. Other sights I went to "look at" included Hofburg Palace, Rathaus, Parliament, the Opera House and the Welt Museum. I'm sure there are other beautiful buildings or places I went to take in but those are the ones I sought out. 

For the first two nights of my trip in Vienna I stayed at Hotel Vienna in the Praterstern area of Vienna in the 2nd District and my last night I stayed at the Sofitel in the Stephansdom area in the 1st District. Hotel Vienna is a mid-sized boutique hotel that is family ran. The thing I loved about this hotel was that they still used actual keys to access the room. It's in a very easily accessible area... 2 blocks from the underground, a market on the same block and plenty of delicious Viennese cafes and restaurants less than a five-minute walk away. For my last night in Vienna, I stayed at the Sofitel and man on man, hands down THE BEST view of Vienna. On the 18th floor they have a restaurant/bar called Das Loft that over looks all of Vienna and you can see almost every major sight. It was so beautiful! The view itself is worth the price tag. 

I think 72 hours was the perfect amount of time for me to do almost everything I wanted too. The only thing I didn't get to do was go to the Belvedere Museum. They have a Gustav Klimt exhibit there and on display is "The Kiss." It's one of the most famous paintings in the world and one I've loved since I was a kid. But with all the traveling and added country layovers, the morning I planned on going to Belvedere Museum... I unfortunately slept in. Well, maybe it's a blessing in disguise as it means I'll have to go back.

Until next time, Auf Wiedersehen Vienna.


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2018 Business Insider Magazine "Most Eligible Singles" List

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Hey ya'll it's ya girl Jen! On Tuesday, Business Insider Magazine and Hinge released its annual list of the "Most Eligible Singles" for 2018 across the United States and I made the list for Los Angeles. I've known about this since November of last year and then found out last week that the article would go live this week. It's slightly embarrassing, but very cool at the same time. 

Click here to read the article, or to see who else was named on the list throughout the US.

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Rejuvenate Medical Spa

I'm a HUGE fan of botox. If you've been following me since the beginning or just found me, you'll know I love my botox. When I moved from Orange County to Los Angeles at the beginning of summer,  had to find a new place. And believe me, I did my research and read countless reviews before settling on Rejuvenate Medical Spa in the Valley. 

The communication even before booking my appointment was so freaking stellar. I had so many questions because I wanted to be sure I was picking the right place for me. I've been to medical spas before, where they try to oversell you on the injectables and I don't like that at all. The Rejuvenate team was so easy to work with and they booked my appointment for me during one of our many messages back and forth. They called to confirm the appointment the day prior as well. I feel like this is a such a small thing that not a lot of places do, so I appreciate it so much. 

As this was my first time at Rejuvenate Medical Spa my appointment was a little longer than your typical botox appointment, as the staff had me fill out paperwork and the medical professional who would be administering my botox really took the time to ask what "look" I was trying to achieve and what areas I wanted to have the botox injected in. Once she mapped out my face, the injections part of the appointment was quick and as painless as can be. 

I would DEFINITELY recommend Rejuvenate Medical Spa for anyone interested in getting botox or even a consultation. They really are amazing. They even follow up with you after the appointment to make sure everything went well.

Below is a quick video of me getting my botox ;)

Rejuvenate Medical Spa
17130 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91316

Services by Appointment Only
Phone: 818-788-6363
Instagram: @rejuvenatemedicalspa

 
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