January, 2013

As store displays have been “helpfully” reminding us since December 26, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Whether you love it or hate it, chances are high that whomever you love is going to expect some kind of acknowledgment. This year, the big day falls on a Thursday, making it perfectly placed for a long weekend away.

CampingIf you’re outdoorsy people, camping is a natural option. Spend the day lakeside with a good book, or enjoy an invigorating hike in the mountains. But save your energy–after sharing a s’more, you’ll want to turn in as soon as the sun goes down. Can two adults fit in a one-person sleeping bag? That’s for us to wonder, and you to find out.

For rustic expeditions, Eagle Creek is your brand. Built with adventure in mind, Eagle Creek products are travel-tested and match beautifully with the great outdoors. The EC Adventure Weekender Bag is sized perfectly for a weekend away. An interior divider and lots of pockets keep you from digging around endlessly, ensuring that the bear spray is close at hand when you need it. Plus, it has “Adventure” right in the name. I mean, come on. For heavier packers, the No Matter What Large Duffel handles all kinds of abuse–go ahead, test its limits. Compression straps stabilize whatever it is you’re hauling, and a storm flap protects the main compartment from the elements. Two-way lockable zippers keep unwanted hands (or paws) out of your stuff when you’re away on a marshmallow run.

Find the perfect campground for you and your sweetie at campgrounds.com or koa.com.

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Another new year, another set of resolutions that’ll be toast by Valentine’s Day. Swearing off carbs or cola? Admirable, for sure, but not particularly interesting or realistic. Why not deviate from the norm and make some resolutions you can actually look forward to keeping? This year, we’re resolving to make 2013 unforgettable–by hook or by crook (or plane, train, or rickshaw). Here are six travel resolutions to get you started.

1. Go it alone. We’re not saying you have to take six months to backpack through Europe or hike the Appalachian Trail to “find yourself.” (Though how cool would that be?) A weekend getaway to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit can be just as illuminating. What would you do if you only had to worry about yourself? Linger in a museum, take a long walk to nowhere, try a crazy new food, or experiment with the settings on your camera–the possibilities are fabulously overwhelming. If vacationing on your own just isn’t in the cards, take a couple hours for yourself on your next family trip. You’ll return relaxed, refocused, and hopefully with a great story to share with your loved ones.

2. Use your vacation days. Though Americans receive fewer vacation days than other industrialized nations–only 12 on average–we actually use even less. It could be because we’re worried about how the boss will respond; or perhaps we just don’t think we can swing it financially. But those days are there for a reason. How you use them is up to you–just don’t spend them at work!

Invest in a swanky new luggage set for your year of adventures–the American Tourister POP 3-Piece Luggage Set and the Swiss Army Luggage Spinner Lite 3 Piece Set are solid choices. Durable and attractive, three pieces of luggage instead of just one ensures that you’re ready for anything, whether it’s an overnight at a B&B or two weeks in Australia. (And we love the color options of the American Tourister set. A bright blue suitcase is hard to miss on the luggage carousel!)

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