Tag Archives: vacation

A Staycation You Won’t Forget

If you love music, fun, and meeting great new people—FloydFest is the place for you! This weekend, from July 23-27, an 80-acre plateau right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd, Virginia will come alive for a summer celebration. Attendees will experiences a 5-day staycation with a new “Revolutionary” theme. With performances from Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Lauryn Hill, Ziggy Marley, Buddy Guy, Madrone, Lettuce, and many more, there is something for every taste in music. Visitors will also enjoy healing arts, sustainable workshops and panel discussions, safe and fun activities for young children and teens, and other functions throughout the festival grounds.

Since its inception, FloydFest has placed a strong emphasis on promoting sustainability and green initiatives. The FloydFest family has gone through great lengths to ensure that the festival area they love stays as unspoiled as possible. In 2011, FloydFest partnered with Klean Kanteen to provide free drinking water to all patrons and re-usable, stainless steel cups are available for festival-goers to purchase. The festival also hosts a multitude of sustainability panels and discussions ranging from composting workshops to water quality information sessions. Each year during the festival, a volunteer “Green Team,” monitors recycling stations, compost piles, and water bottle refill stations that are easily accessible to festival patrons throughout the entire venue.

FloydFest’s unique location opens the door for a wide range of easily accessible outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting, disc golf, and more. Back at the festival site, the Healing Arts Village offers massages, yoga classes, meditation sessions and sustainability workshops. FloydFest’s strategically built concert stages, such as the Virginia Folklife Workshop Porch, provide a sweet concoction of picturesque views and intimate mountain sound that you can’t find anywhere else.

Go to www.floydfest.com for more information and a complete line-up of performers. You can even build your own custom schedule to ensure you don’t miss performances from your favorite artists. Spend a couple of days (or the entire weekend) enjoying the scenery, the people, and the music of FloydFest. We will see you there!

Keep your skin hydrated and healthy!

Many of us will be spending a lot of time by the water this summer. Whether you are enjoying a trip to a local body of water, or traveling to a beach, it is important to take very good care of your skin.

Mud_jpgFind a good “go-to” product that adds moisture. We like Miracle Skin Transformer Miracle Revival Mud. The thick mud mask improves hydration, firmness, and clarity. It also helps create a more even skin tone and reduce surface shine. Regardless of what you choose, remember to save room for it in your suitcase when you travel. It may be difficult to find a similar product at your destination. Do not rely on the hotel to provide soap that is good for you. Some resorts distribute luxury spa items for skin care, but many hotels provide private label options with mystery ingredients. You could be allergic to their products, and you might not get the same level of moisturizer if you choose to use them.

Don’t forget to save room in your suitcase for sunscreen as well. It seems obvious, but too many people forget to apply sunscreen regularly to prevent sunburn and disease caused by overexposure to the sun. Be proactive, and take responsibility for your health. Set a reminder on your phone to apply sunscreen at regular intervals. If you do get burned, apply aloe often, in addition to your regular moisturizer. Also, nourish your skin with a cool towel soaked in water or milk regularly. Do not peel the sunburn, and remember to pat the affected area dry after a shower.

If you are flying to your destination, moisturize before and during your plane ride. This may sound excessive, especially for those who just want to relax in the air. Remember, the cabin is a small space and relative humidity is much higher than you might think. If soda, alcohol, and salty snacks are necessary to your vacation, it is a good idea to wait and enjoy them once you reach your destination. Also, drink plenty of water. Your body will thank you for it!

We know your schedule is jam packed this summer, but try to set aside a few hours to pamper yourself each month if at all possible. You can save yourself a trip to the spa by creating facial masks from products that you already have in your kitchen.

For example, in Asian Secrets of Health, Beauty, and Relaxation, Sophie Benge recommends using an avocado masks to nourish your face and body. Mash the creamy insides of one avocado into a soft paste and apply to your face using the avocado stone to massage the flesh into your skin with small, upward, circular motions. Wash off with warm water after a few minutes. The nourishing oil is naturally rich in vitamin E and leaves your skin feeling soft.

Look for more ways to pamper your skin on our website, www.lovelybella.com, and share your ideas with us on Facebook!

 

 

Travel like a local

Americans are on the move: logging two billion business and leisure trips of 50 miles or more from home for at least one night last year alone, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Today, more people are looking for authentic travel activities – ones that are outside the traditional museum or monument visit. To get more out of your next vacation, consider expert advice on how to break out of the tourist rut and have a truly authentic local experience.

“The single biggest thing you can do to trigger these experiences is to talk to people – talk to locals,” says Reena Ganga, Gadling blogger and Wanderplex Founder. “But since that’s easier said than done, I think there are several ways you can try to foster interactions with locals and put yourself in a position to create great travel memories.”

Hyatt House, an upscale extended stay hotel brand located across-the United States,-has teamed up with Ganga and America’s favorite lifestyle maven, Martha Stewart, to help vacationers learn the tricks of travelling like a local with the following tips:

Reena Ganga’s tips:

* Trek like the locals. Don’t limit yourself to sightseeing buses or taxis. If the locals travel in communal mini-vans or via bike, do it too. Locals who aren’t used to seeing tourists take that form of transport often find their tenacity endearing and will make the effort to talk to them.

* Go off the beaten path. Make time to head to the smaller, secondary cities when you travel. These are often the places that feel the most culturally distinct. If you’re in a big city, head outside the tourist zones and into interesting neighborhoods where the locals spend their time.

* Choose a place that feels like home. Instead of staying in a traditional hotel, think about staying in a serviced apartment or an extended stay hotel like Hyatt House, where you have a living room and kitchen. Then head out to the local market and talk to the vendors. You’ll discover the produce and products that are special to that area, and you never know where the conversations will lead.

* Eat with the locals. Don’t just eat at chain restaurants that you’re familiar with or that only have English menus. Go where the locals congregate. Whether it’s a mom-and-pop restaurant or a street stall, local eateries are likely to have more authentic food and the locals are often eager to tell you about the food, how to eat it, etc.

* Put away technology. If you find yourself lost while traveling, don’t immediately refer to maps on your phone – stop and ask a shopkeeper for directions. If you need a restaurant recommendation, don’t just search online. Ask locals for their tips – it’s a great excuse to strike up a conversation.

Keep in mind, traveling with a local mindset means taking a new approach to packing, too. Stewart offers these smart packing tips:

* Distribute weight evenly. Pack the heaviest items, such as shoes and toiletry bags, at the bottom. Pack socks inside shoes to prevent footwear from getting squished.

* Skip checked baggage. A canvas bag with a sturdy strap is great for packing for any length of trip. Remember, if you forget something, often hotels can help. Hyatt House has the Hyatt Has It – Borrows program, which can supply everything from a phone charger to yoga mats.

* Carry-on with care. Because you never know when weather or unforeseen events will cause travel delays, pack a carry-on bag containing items you would be very unhappy to lose, such as medications and toiletries.

* Stay clean on the run. Travel-size packaged antibacterial towelettes are great for keeping your hands and face clean.

* Regulate wrinkles. Use large drycleaner bags to pack bulky sweaters or cardigans. The plastic helps prevent wrinkling.

* Secure belongings. If you’re traveling a long distance, use a lock and key or combination lock to protect your belongings.

These simple tips make it easy to travel like a local and get the most out of your next vacation. You’ll be delighted by the unique memories and wonderful stories you get by traveling with a local mindset.

Sources: Martha Stewart Living, June 2003; Martha Stewart Digital, Article: Smart Packing Tips; Martha Stewart Video – Organizing: Helpful Tips for Packing Travel Bags; The Martha Stewart Show, Season 7, Episode 7099 (How to Pack a Suitcase Lightly for Easy Travel)