Our top social media posts of 2018

By Jackie Dreyer

#Travelgoals is what we aim to be, and in 2018, you all helped make that dream become a reality. Social media lends a strong helping hand when planning a trip to somewhere you've never been before. We can tell Instagram inspires you, but Facebook hooks you in, giving you that last push you need to hit the confirm booking button. So much so, in fact, that, of all our bookings in 2018, 12 of you decided to plan a very special occasion at one of our glamping sites...you got engaged while glamping! Keep on reading to have a peek at our most liked posts from Facebook and Instagram in 2018.

Instagram

  1. Your partner, your pup, and the perfect cabin—the ultimate glamping getaway.
  1. The impressive mountain backdrop behind this unique dome rental in Patagonia, Chile.
  1. The most secluded "pool" you've ever swam in.
  1. That time we didn't mind sweating so much.
  1. When our inner child stared up at these tree houses like the heart-eyed emoji.
  1. The minute we put Bali up at the top of our travel bucket list.
  1. Where we most imagined cozying up with a good book and a soft blanket.
  1. Exactly what you pictured when you daydreamed about getting away from it all.
  1. The desert accommodation you never knew you needed.
  1. Were you to plan a swimsuit photoshoot, it'd be here.

Facebook

  1. A dreamy getaway outside of the hustle and bustle of London.
  1. The ultimate place to view fall foliage in the U.S.
  1. Remember that desert dome on Instagram? You wanted to dive deeper.
  1. Quintessential glamping at its finest.
  1. Winter never looked so good to us—next stop, Norway!
  1. The best spot to float your worries away in France.
  1. The ultimate bathtub with a view for those of us who love a good soak.
  1. How we kept you coming back for more—from gorgeous emails to giveaways. (Sign up for our newsletter on the homepage if you haven't yet!)
  1. The accommodation is great—but did you hear about the on-site food truck?!
  1. You can't get enough of this glass cabin in Iceland—and we can't either. Swoon.

For all the best #travelinspo for this coming year, check out our blog on Travel Trends for 2019!*

Where to take your wellness in 2019

By Jackie Dreyer

Every year, we get more and more conscious of just how important it is to take care of ourselves—both physically and mentally—and the planet we inhabit, as well as how to continually improve at doing so. For 2019, we've got a couple of superb product suggestions that will help you carry on bettering your health and wellness in the new year.

Eco-friendly products

2018 was the year we saw the world start to take a hard stance on not using plastic products, be it bags in the grocery store or straws in our drinks at restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. To start the new year out on the right foot, make way for reusable items in your house, starting easy with cloth grocery bags and stainless steel straws.

Reusable straws

The benefits of reusable straws include everything from preventing the innocent deaths of marine animals, as garbage is often thrown in the ocean and straws are often mistaken for food, to safer for human use, due to the fact that stainless steel doesn't let off harmful chemicals.

There are even specialized reusable straws available now, like the Koffie Straw, which helps keep your pearly whites glistening and stain-free while still allowing you to get your caffeine on.

Reusable water bottles

If you haven't jumped on the reusable water bottle train yet, this is another eco-friendly product that will come in handy 24/7—no matter whether you're at work, at the gym, in the car, or on a hike. There are many options on the market these day, but one of the latest is the Astrea bottle, which has a built-in filter.

What's more? It's the only bottle certified to NSF53 standards to reduce lead. The importance of not only drinking water, but drinking quality water, is entirely underestimated. Just listen to these digestion facts from MindBodyGreen!

"City water is chlorinated to remove pathogens and disinfect the water. Chlorine is a skin irritant (consider mounting a shower filter if you suffer from eczema or dry skin), pro-oxidant, and destroyer of friendly microflora and stomach acid. When our friendly microflora are wiped out, we can suffer from bloating and slower digestion, and when our stomach isn't able to produce as much stomach acid and enzymes as it should, digestion can become downright uncomfortable."

Self-care products

Self care comes in many ways, shapes, and forms—for some people, that's a face mask and a bubble bath; for others, it's a nice meal out once a week.

Massage technology

Focusing on how to externally keep our bodies happy, the rising popularity of new technology, such as the Theragun, are sure to gain even more loyal fans in 2019. This unique, hand-held massager, loved by athletes and celebrities alike, is essentially a portable chiropractor—in fact, it was created by one! Thanks to its manageable size, this is a great investment that can be used both at home and on vacation.

Vitamins

Diving inside the body, the vitamin company, Care Of blew up on social media this year, with major celebrities, like Queer Eye's hair and skin guru Jonathan Van Ness, singing the company's praises. What's so special about vitamins, you ask? At Care Of, a lot.

The company creates personalized daily vitamin packs for you based on a quiz you take, where you answer some simple questions about your goals, lifestyle, and values. They then suggest for you the perfect combination of vitamins and supplements, which you can adjust as you please, and voilà! All you have to do is sit and wait for your vitamins to arrive at your front door—perfectly formulated with the only the highest quality of ingredients to kick start your 2019 with.

Herbal medicine

With the number of products, workout classes, lifestyle changes, and more that have and will become available to use, we could write a novel or two, but we'll just leave you with one final option to look into for now, which is herbal medicine.

From blog to business, Organic Olivia rose in popularity in 2018, and we can't wait to see what she has in store for 2019. What started as her providing herbal remedies, backed up with extensive research, on her blog and social media, has turned into a full range of tinctures, probiotics, and more—all of which have an army of happy, and now healthy, clients shouting from the digital rooftops about how wonderful they now feel, thanks to these products.

For those unfamiliar with tinctures, tinctures are essentially extracts, which are made by steeping an herb in alcohol to draw out its medicinal properties. Dating as far back as to when the first alcohol was ever distilled, tinctures were first used by the ancient Egyptians but didn't become common in Europe until the 1400s. Though they waned in popularity with the rise of Western medicine, they've come back on the health and wellness scene in recent years, due to a (continuing) rise in interest in herbal and Eastern medicine.

How else will you be improving your health and wellness in 2019? Let us know on social media!


Looking for a yoga retreat or getaway to practice mindfulness at in 2019? Check out what destinations are trending here!

Delicious holiday drink recipes

By Marta Gintowt

The holiday season is the perfect time for getting together, lighting up the fireplace, and sharing a warming beverage. A glass of red wine or a chilled beer will always do the trick, but why not use this time of year to get creative and try something new and festive?

Whether you are entertaining a large group of friends or are just trying to impress your partner, we have curated the perfect list of interesting and delicious holiday drink recipes, ranging from simple to complex, to try out this cozy holiday season.

Chai eggnog

Photo and recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

A Christmas cocktail that adults love and kids loathe, this special twist on the classic recipe marries chai tea and exotic spices together to create a more than memorable flavor. Either to be enjoyed without alcohol or combined with a rich whiskey or brandy, this recipe is sure to make those of all ages eggnog converts.

Spicy pomegranate Moscow mule

Photo and recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

Christmas time calls for an abundance of winter fruits, like pomegranates and any citrus of your choice, so both novice and experienced cocktail-makers, take note! The traditional Moscow mule is a drink whose popularity is steadily on the rise, due to the tangy ginger flavors and satisfying crushed ice. This spicy interpretation is bound to make a statement with the addition of sweet pomegranate and spicy jalepeños.

Blood orange and pomegranate thyme spritz

Photo and recipe from A Cozy Kitchen.

Continuing on with our love for winter fruits, those who appreciate eclectic, sophisticated flavors will adore this festive beverage. The robust essence of thyme, paired with both rich pomegranate juice and tangy blood orange soda, are refreshing, yet warming—making this a perfect entertaining aperitif.

Glögg

Recipe from The Spruce Eats.

The holidays call for traditions, whether that is getting together with the family or making classic recipes that have been passed down through generations. Mulled wine, or the stronger Swedish Glögg, is a fragrant, noted beverage that is famous around the world and can easily be made at home. Served warm, this Glögg combines wine, spices, fruit, and an optional hard spirit for that extra cozy feeling.

Grapefruit whiskey sours

Photo and recipe from Heather Cristo.

Whiskey is known for it's warming properties, hence it being one of the main ingredients in the cold-combating Hot Toddy. Extremely easy and perfect for either a cozy night in or a holiday party, whiskey sours are a definite crowd pleaser. This recipe suggests adding grapefruit soda and pink lemon wedges (rare, but gorgeous) for a pop of color and a fragrant twist.

Kahlua hot chocolate

Photo and recipe from Damn Delicious.

Once the temperature drops and winter has announced it's frigid arrival, hot chocolate is natural a go-to soul-warmer for those of all ages. This delicious, spiked hot chocolate is especially appealing to adults, due to the addition of Kahlua liquor and salted caramel, for a decadent winter evening treat.


Need some ideas on where to make these warming winter beverages this holiday season? Try them out at one of our favorite places to celebrate New Year's Eve!

Our favorite winter amenities that make glamping easy

By Marta Gintowt

Winter is one of those seasons that people either adore or loathe. When autumn comes to a close, you can hear as many whines of despair as shouts of excitement as people unpack their parkas and wrap themselves from head to toe. Biologically, we all have temperature preferences, where some prefer freezing conditions over a hot climate, but even those who are partial to the cold can admit that roughing it in December and January can be, well, a bit rough.

Some of us may head to tropical climates during our winter getaways, but many of us will stay put and take advantage of the winter wonderlands around us—discovering how the cold, the snow, and the long nights can be as magical as the summertime. This collection of our favorite winter amenities that make glamping easy are perfect for those of you who are looking to take advantage of the snowfall and wintry landscapes in total comfort.

Luxurious hot tubs

Maybe the most luxurious amenity found at a glamping property, a hot tub is something that you can look forward to enjoying all year round. A snow fall might keep some inside, but a warming hot tub can tempt anyone for a soak outdoors. Perfect for a romantic winter evening or a snowy afternoon spent relaxing and chatting, a hot tub is surely the highlight of any winter accommodation.

Healing saunas

After a long day outdoor in the cold—either skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing, a sauna is an amazing addition to a cozy glamping accommodation. Perfect for easing sore muscles and recovering from the cold, outdoor explorers can repair aches and pain that developed before the getaway, making a glamping trip healing for both soul and body.

Nostalgic fireplaces

Cozy nights in are always made better with a good company, delicious snacks, and a crackling fireplace. Reminiscent of home, you'll be able to light a fire in the evening with your loved ones while on a winter vacation that allows you to discover the luxurious simplicity that glamping is famous for.

Cozy home theaters

Being snowed in is a phenomenon that those of us who live above the 40 degrees north latitude belt are quite familiar with. If electricity is not lost during the snowstorm, snow days become synonymous with playing outdoors and then warming up while watching a movie. While glamping, a home theater can make snow day memories a sophisticated reality with a projection screen, a movie library, and comfortable lounge furniture.

Convenient ski-in/ski-out access

While skiing and snowboarding can be considered the most popular winter activities, those of you who aren't looking forward to commuting back and fourth to the mountain will appreciate the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access. Winter accommodations that are located on or near a ski slope allow you to fulfill your dreams of the perfect skiing getaway.

Crackling fire pits

A winter's night spent outdoors can be exhilarating and refreshing, perfectly spent while stargazing and snuggling under a warm blanket. While body heat and outerwear will probably suffice, a fire pit will make the atmosphere unforgettably cozy. From the warm, amber light to the fragrant burning logs, our favorite and maybe most simple winter amenity might be the one that will make the biggest impression.


Check out some of our favorite wintery cabins in the Pacific Northwest and Upstate New York with these cozy amenities!

Experience-based gifts for the whole family

By Stephen Gillis

When thinking about what to get your family for the holidays, consider gifting an experience. Experiences are the gifts that keep on giving and will be shared and reminisced for years to come around the dinner table and over cups of coffee. Unlike things, experiences get better the more you share them with others.

Create lifelong memories with those closest to you while doing something a little out of the ordinary. Here is a list of some of the best activities to do while glamping that will make great gifts for the whole family.

Yoga

Get the whole family to disconnect, de-stress, and open your minds while doing yoga on your glamping getaway.

Yoga with the whole family is a great way to expose children to lifelong healthy activities.No matter your age or experience level, yoga can be beneficial in a myriad of ways—breathing techniques for better stamina, mindfulness for clearing away stress, and stretching to ease muscle tension and soreness. See who can hold their downward-facing dog pose the longest!

Horseback riding

Horseback riding in Croatia will get you vistas you won't see anywhere else—a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Few other animals parallel the majesty of the horse. Embrace this beautiful animal with an open spirit to embark on an indelible experience with the kids. Exploring rugged terrains and gorgeous landscapes on horseback will surely fill you and your children with fond family memories and a renewed sense of enchantment.

Safari

Get ready to see rare and endangered wildlife while on a safari in Kenya.

Witness the excitement nature has to offer on a safari in Kenya. Learn about the area's wildlife and ecosystem from the safety of a vehicle at a comfortable distance. Fascination will be the primary emotion when you and your family are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe the most impressive animals on our planet.

Canoeing

Explore Washington's coast from the water with a relaxing canoe ride.

Canoeing is family bonding at its finest. Everyone must be in proper balance and rhythm to ensure you remain dry by the time you dock. Navigate the shore and have a glimpse of the coastline from a new perspective. Maybe you'll even encounter some wildlife! As long as life jackets are securely fastened and you don't find yourself without a paddle, your family will be very safe on this adventure—not to mention you will leave having completed a killer arm workout.

Zip-lining

Prepare to get a bird's eye view of the jungle while zip-lining.

Few activities are as thrilling as soaring over the jungle canopy on a zip-line. Feel the fresh, rainforest air roll over you as you zip from one platform to another. Zip-lining is a great way to push the limits of the comfort zone of your family. The feeling is exhilarating, and you will leave a more courageous person. Support one another through the course, and you're in for a spectacular moment for the whole family.

Fishing

At this villa, you'll get the chance to go fishing every day from one of the best locations.

Spending the day patiently waiting for that bite to reel in a big one will be an experience never forgotten. If you are lucky, the fruits of your labor will pay off in the form of a big fish to pose with and show off to all your friends. The virtue of patience will be the biggest lesson learned on this trip—which is a valuable lesson for guests of all ages and experience levels.

Stargazing

When you're coming from the city, stargazing is an activity that is awe-inspiring.

Get out of the city and into the countryside to take a look at the beautiful stars overhead. In the city, we often forget they even exist, but once you see them, you can't stop looking. Stargazing puts everything back into perspective, as you gain a more profound appreciation for the vast scale of the universe.

Using a telescope, you can get a closer look at the moon and other planets if you look hard enough. Try to catch a glimpse of a shooting star, and don't forget to make a wish! It will truly be a dream come true and an experience your family will be craving upon returning to the city.


For some more gift ideas or to see where else you can venture to this holiday season, keep on reading on the Glamping Hub blog!

Tips for traveling during the holidays

By Kelsey Leon

Whether you're going to the Christmas markets in Germany or a sunny beach in Hawai'i, traveling during the holidays can be an incredibly memorable experience. The destinations and possibilities are endless!

It can also be very stressful, however, with so many things to remember and plan. "How am I going to get to the airport?" "What if it snows?" "How am I going to fit these gifts in my suitcase?" We know it feels like there is a lot to do, but fear not! Here are some quick tips for traveling during the holidays so you can worry a little bit less and make the most out of your trip.

Arrive early

This is an obvious but very important item to remember. Expect the unexpected! Whether it be bad weather (pun intended) or longer than usual lines, a delay or two could definitely happen. Make sure that you budget enough time to get to whatever destination you need to be at, be it an airport or a bus or train station. Give yourself more time than you think that you need, because, after all, it is better to be too early than too late and to err on the side of caution. The last thing you want to do is miss your plane, train, or bus!

Stay healthy

Winter time makes just about everywhere a breeding ground for colds of all kinds. Couple that with extra crowded areas, and you've got the perfect storm. Even if you are in the Southern Hemisphere at the moment and soaking up some summer rays, it is still very possible to catch a cold. Protect yourself from falling ill (after all, getting sick during the holidays and having to travel is the worst), and be mindful when you are in a public space. Bring some hand sanitizer, remember to wash your hands thoroughly, and try to avoid touching your face.

Be mindful of your carbon footprint

While it is important that you stay clean, it is also important that you keep whatever place you are staying at as clean as possible, too. Everyone has a carbon footprint, and this is even more true when we travel. While it is obvious that some amount of carbon emissions occur during travel, try to keep your waste to a minimum. For some great tips for traveling and creating zero waste, keep reading here on Inspired by Maps.

Be smart about packing

During holiday travel, it is especially important to pack smartly so that you can have one less thing to worry about. Will you be traveling to many places in a short amount of time, or will you be in one place for a longer time? How's the weather where you'll be going? A common rule of thumb is to pack as efficiently as possible. No matter what your situation is, traveling will be easiest with a lighter suitcase.

Bring something festive

Do you do something special with friends or family every holiday season? Well, don't let travel stop you from keeping you traditions alive! Perhaps if it is something more elaborate, you won't be able to go all out, but you can certainly bring a little piece of it with you. Break out your Christmas sweater and get festive on that airplane! This can certainly help you stay cheerful throughout your travels and really get into the holiday mood. It's incredible what a simple thing like this can do!

Be respectful

Remember that it's the holiday season! It can be easy to complain about the bathroom line being too long or the fact that your flight was delayed, but no matter how frustrating the situation, it's important to be patient and to be respectful. Complaining about a situation won't help anything, including people's moods. Take a deep breath, and take any inconveniences or issues with grace. Just think about it—you're lucky that you're even able to travel this holiday season. Many people would love to be in your position, and in just a short while, you'll be at an amazing destination!


Have you prepped your bags with our must-have travel gadgets? If not, be sure to put them on your wish list this year!

Thoughtful gifts for him, her, and Fido

By Elizabeth Young

You may see this and think, "Great, another shopping list for the holidays. What's new?" Well, actually, a lot! This list isn't just a list of random items that could be used by anyone, but rather a curated list of our favorite travel gadgets that we actually used in 2018. Each item on this list has been tried and tested by our Glamping Hub employees, and we're sharing them with you because they've truly changed how we travel.

For Him

Skyroam's Solis Portable Hot Spot

Charge your gadgets on the go, and get easy, global Wi-Fi.
Photo sourced from Skyroam.

Skyroam Solis is the company's newest model and one of the most powerful, global Wi-Fi hot spots on the market. With super fast 4G LTE coverage in over 130 countries, over 16 hours of battery life, and charging connections for up to five devices, this handy machine makes traveling and staying connected easier than ever before.

Flask Flashlight

Perfect for the guy who loves to camp—and relax at the end of the day with a drink.
Photo Sourced from Kaufmann Mercantile.

Probably two items that you never occurred to you to combine: a flask and a flashlight. With improvements in technology, the big batteries are not needed for flashlights anymore, which for the most part are now all LED.

Thus, the founders of VSSL decided to put all that extra space to use, and one of their feats of engineering is this flashlight and flask combination. It can carry 10 ounces of your favorite drink and comes with two stainless steel, collapsible shot glasses, and a bottle opener (apart from the flashlight).

Bear Grylls' Ultimate Survival Kit

This is the gift you hope you never need, but are always glad to have.
Photo Sourced from Gerber Gear.

This compact and portable survival kit has everything you would need in an emergency situation in the outdoors. With 16 pieces, ranging from a hand saw and survival blanket to fishing and sewing kits, Gerber Gear and Bear Grylls have thought of everything you might need. It even comes with a "Priorities of Survival Pocket Guide" for potentially dangerous or tricky situations.

For Her

Waxed Canvas Backpack

Stylish and practical, this is the perfect weekend getaway bag for her.
Photo sourced from Etsy.

Kovereduk's Lundy backpack combines fashion and function for an overall great weekend bag for her. The brown leather bag is durable, and each one is unique, as it is made with reclaimed leather. With two large, hold-all compartments, a front pocket, and an interior zip pocket, the backpack can easily fit a laptop and clothes for a weekend away.

Carry On Cocktail Kits

Compact and easy to bring along, these in-flight cocktail kits make it easy to relax once you reach cruising altitude.
Photo sourced from Amazon.

Carry On Cocktails are the brainchild of W&P and have us asking, "How did no one think of this sooner?!" Whether you hate flying and need to relax or simply want to get your vacation started early, these in-flight cocktail kits are compact and easy to bring in your carry-on. The company offers drinks ranging from a Moscow Mule to a Champagne Cocktail—all of which make great stocking stuffers for the over-21 crowd.

Sand-Free Beach Towels

Add some style and luxury to your next beach trip with this sand-proof beach towel.
Photo sourced from Tesalate.

These beach towels will change the way you relax and get your tan on forever. Made from Tesalate's exclusive AbsorbLite fabric, sand won't stick to these towels, even when wet! Compact, quick drying, and with more than 20 patterns to pick from, these towels are a no-brainer gift for someone who loves to be at the beach.

For Fido

I have to say from experience, traveling with a dog is tricky. Even more difficult is finding a pet-friendly rental where you can stay and really feel like your dog is welcome—especially if you're glamping and going to be outdoors all day.

These are some of my favorite pet products for traveling, one for fun and two of which really make it easy to keep your vacation rental clean while there with your pup.

Paw Plunger

Portable and easy to use, this Paw Plunger is a no-brainer
Photo Sourced from The Grommet.

The first product is called the Paw Plunger, which quickly and easily cleans your dog's paws. It's perfect for removing any traces of that muddy mountain hike you wanted to take before letting the dog back inside the rental. Fill the container with warm water, and watch as one-by-one your dogs paws are cleaned gently by the bristles inside—truly a lifesaver.

Portable Dog Bath

This handy dog-shower makes staying anywhere with Fido a breeze.
Photo Sourced from Amazon.

If your dog hates being bathed like ours do, this item will be a life-saver. You will be so thankful you bought this for your pup after a walk through the woods, where the dog found a nice puddle to roll around in and you don't want to let them back inside the vacation rental.

This Bissell portable dog bath is perfect for when you're in someone else's home and want to keep the dog clean. It cleans from the skin up, with specially designed nozzles that go beneath the fur, and it also uses only 48 ounces of water and no-rinse shampoo to keep your pup clean from head to tail.

Note to dog-owners whose pups are afraid of vacuums: You may want to introduce this slowly, as it does make a quiet, vacuum-like noise. The product comes with training instructions if this is the case for your dog.

Outward Hound's Dog Puzzles

Now your pup can play Twister, too!
Photo sourced from Outward Hound.

I originally saw these toys first on Instagram and honestly thought they looked a little unnecessary. Either it would be too complicated, or it would be destroyed by my dog in a few hours. After seeing my pup in action with one, however, my mind was quickly changed. These things are great!

With multiple training levels and different challenges, these puzzles help train your dog to learn sequential steps—challenging them while teaching them problem-solving skills. Did you ever think your dog would learn how to problem-solve? Maybe they will in 2019!


Feeling inspired to take a trip with your new gadgets? Head to Glamping Hub for where to stay or check out our staff's holiday wish list here!

Our favorite travel gadgets to gift in 2018

By Eric Wright

Although most of us travel to escape from work emails, the hubbub of the office, and the distractions of technology-based modern life, having the right gadgets to take on your upcoming trips can be a real life-saver. Whether its something practical or a brand-new invention, an inspection of these gadgets will have you adding a few more items to your 2018 holiday wish list. Here's to your future getaways being safer, more comfortable, and more incredible than ever!

1. Waterproof camera

Photo courtesy of digitalcameraworld.com.

A fitting gift for friends and family who regularly give in to peer pressure, these sleek devices come with a great image quality—some even being resistant to shocks and freezing temperatures. Whether it's a vacation of relaxing at the beach, an unforgettable scuba expedition to the depths, or a kayaking trip, help your buddies capture those once-in-a-lifetime underwater moments with a waterproof camera.

2. Portable projector

We all know there's no place like home, but what about watching your favorite flick while surrounded by thousands of distant stars and planets? Well, say hello to my little friend! From ultra-small, mini-models to more up-scale versions with an eight-foot projection screen, these gadgets allow you to bring the cinema to the great outdoors.

3. Camera drone

Perfect for travelers looking to catch the ultimate sunset, these ultra-modern machines come with all the trimmings. Able to fly up to four miles away, the soaring robots allow you to capture those unforgettable vacation moments with astonishing clarity. Equipped with intuitive smartphone control, GPS, and several flight modes, a camera drone is the ultimate gift for someone looking to take their vacations to the next level—literally.

4. Portable fire pit

Going camping with friends and family just wouldn't be the same without a night of chatting, stargazing, and, of course, roasting marshmallows together around a fire pit. These lightweight models range from simple steel pits to trendy, modern designs, and they're all easy to carry and store in the back of the car. So, as Gandalf once so famously said, "Fry, you fools."

5. Water-resistant Bluetooth speaker

Enabling you to listen to your favorite tracks anywhere in the world, a water-resistant, portable speaker is an absolute must for music lovers on vacation, especially during that November rain. Both dust and splash resistant and with almost 10 hours of playtime, this nimble party-goer should definitely be your next travel companion.

6. Sandless beach mat

Photo courtesy of sandlessbeachmats.com.

Originally created for military purposes, this incredibly handy towel allows you to enjoy those idyllic beach days without having to worry about getting any pesky sand on your electronic devices or picnic snacks. Practically impossible to cover in sand, help your friends get the ultimate suntan next year from one of these super useful beach mats.

7. Water purifier bottle

Photo courtesy of toomanyadapters.com.

With the majority of traveler's health problems coming from drinking contaminated water, a water purifier is an absolute must for the explorer in the family. From state-of-the-art devices that can clean naturally sourced water in 15 seconds to more affordable models, these life-saving gadgets offer safe drinking water wherever you may be exploring.

8. Battery-charging backpack

Photo courtesy of TYLT.

Never miss a photo op due to a dead cell phone battery with this battery-charging backpack by TYLT. Perfect for those who love to go on long hikes and won't be near a power source for hours and hours, this backpack, complete with a 5,200 mAh battery, has got your phones and tablets covered. What's more? It even has a built-in laptop sleeve that is TSA-compliant, making getting to and leaving your destination a breeze.


Need to find somewhere to use all of these amazing travel gadgets? Check out our staff's 2018 holiday wish list!

Unique recipes for your Thanksgiving leftovers

By Marta Gintowt

Thanksgiving is a holiday that more or less revolves around eating. The day itself is dedicated to cooking, socializing, and binging on delicious, fall-inspired fare. The days after are usually spent trying to fit all of the leftovers into the fridge like a game of Tetris and finding ways to eat everything without getting tired of turkey sandwiches.

These recipe ideas are for those who find themselves still recovering from their turkey coma and who are uninspired and overwhelmed by the wall of stuffing and green beans that none of their guests touched on Thursday.

Thanksgiving-Inspired Breakfast

The morning after a filling Thanksgiving, a number of Americans may be experiencing a raging hangover—caused by either too much food or too many glasses of wine. What better way to cure a headache and a sore stomach than with a medical-grade breakfast? Leftovers can be used in a Thanksgiving-inspired breakfast, including an English Breakfast-style spread and an omelet filled with corn and string beans.

Our favorite is a take on Eggs Benedict, where turkey is substituted for traditional bacon (or omitted if vegetarian), and hollandaise sauce is replaced by gravy. Pop two biscuits from the night before in the toaster while two eggs poach on the stove. Feel free to heat up your turkey in the gravy for optimum flavor and then top the biscuits with all of the above ingredients.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese Balls

Photo taken from Foodie Crush.

I know we've sworn off food for a week after Thanksgiving, but this might change your mind: Baked. Macaroni. And. Cheese. Balls. These are wonderfully easy to make, portion out, and freeze—aside from being very tasty!

Form macaroni and cheese into meatball-size balls and set them aside on wax paper (recipe is based on 12 golf ball-size units) and freeze for two to three hours, or until hard. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a saucepan, melt two teaspoons of butter over medium heat. In a shallow dish, separate out two egg whites to be used as an egg wash. In another shallow dish, mix a 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs with a 1/4 teaspoon of paprika, a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. Remove the balls from the freezer; roll each ball in the egg white wash; and coat each thoroughly with the breadcrumb mixture.

Place each ball onto parchment paper, and pop them into the oven for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Let them cool and dip them into ketchup, barbecue sauce, ranch, gravy, or whatever your heart desires. You can also fry these tasty little guys in a saucepan or fryer (at 350 degrees Fahrenheit) until golden brown.

Thanksgiving Salad

Stuffing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and turkey are rich, heavy, and ultimately delicious. The problem is with rich foods is that often we crave something a bit lighter in the days to come. This is when a tasty, yet delicate, salad would be appreciated. Lighter fare from the night before, like string beans, Brussels sprouts, turkey, and roasted vegetables can be thrown together with spinach, kale, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, and a Dijon vinaigrette for a satisfying, guilt-free salad that helps clear out the fridge.

Feel free to either heat up the vegetables in the oven or keep them cold for a fresher feel. The Dijon vinaigrette calls for four parts balsamic vinegar, a spoonful of Dijon mustard, and a dash of garlic salt, with two tablespoons of high-quality olive oil whisked in to give it a creamy consistency.

Thanksgiving Nachos

Photo taken from TripAdvisor.

Not everyone loves leftovers, but we promise you that everyone loves nachos. This creative way to make use of your post Thanksgiving feast is an easy way to repurpose food that may have otherwise gone to waste!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. On a baking tray, spread out your favorite tortilla chips and top them with the first layer of cheddar cheese. (Note: Any cheese that melts will work! Maybe you have leftovers from a charcuterie board?) Add sporadic spoonfuls of mashed potatoes on top of the cheese and tortilla chips.

On the side, in a large bowl, mix shredded turkey and cranberry sauce together; you can also add lime juice or salsa to taste, if you wish. Sprinkle the turkey across the top of the mashed potatoes, tortilla chips, and cheese.

Top with jalapeños and another layer of cheese, then pop into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes (or until all of the cheese is melted and gooey). In a separate pan, warm up your left over gravy and drizzle it heavily all over the nachos. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Shepherd's Pie

A rich, Thanksgiving-inspired dish that can feed the whole family, as well as utilize plenty of leftovers, is this shepherd's pie. Whatever remaining mashed potatoes (normal or sweet) over a bed of stuffing, gravy, and turkey makes the perfect lunch or dinner meal. This is also an amazing way to bring your leftovers easily to work, school, or anywhere on the go.

All that is required is to line the baking dish with a thin layer of melted butter (to make sure nothing sticks), followed by a layer of leftover stuffing. Next, mix together sliced turkey, mixed vegetables, and gravy, and pour the mixture over the stuffing.

The final step is to top the layered ingredients with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese, if desired. The whole dish should be covered and in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, or until piping hot in the center. Enjoy with a light side salad for a healthy, balanced meal.

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

Photo taken from Wellplated.

What goes well with desert? More dessert. The pumpkin pie milkshake is a great way to enjoy leftover pumpkin pie (if there is such a thing). In a blender, add one slice of pumpkin pie and a handful of crushed ice. For a "lighter version," add a cup of water. For a creamy shake, add a cup of your milk (dairy or non-) of choice or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Blend until frothy, and top with whipped cream and crumbled pieces of left over pie. Voilà!


If you're not going to eat your leftovers, please consider donating them to your nearest food collection service! This article from Food52 has a bunch of great resources, from food pantries to non-profit charities, that you can donate to.

Best travel gadgets to buy on Cyber Monday 2018

By Elizabeth Young

There are lots of ways to travel—and lots of ways to make travel easier. From portable Wi-Fi devices to mini speakers, fancy backpacks to awesome drones...the tech world is constantly evolving to meet our travel needs, even fulfilling needs we didn't know we had.

For those of you who have had your eyes on certain travel gadgets that were maybe a little out of your price range, such as expensive cameras and drones, clothing, and other equipment, Cyber Monday deals are where you can shine. Take a look at some of the deals we've found below!

Tech deals

Best Buy always has huge Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, and it's a great place to go for big-ticket items. If you get anxious leaving your home empty while you travel, check out this Samsung ADT Home Security Starter Kit. Now you can leave your home safe and protected and get outside and capture some truly amazing experiences with your new drone or camera!

This "smart home" starter kit makes home security a breeze (on sale, $151.99).
Photo Sourced from Best Buy.

Other cool buys from Best Buy this year include smart watches, drones, and GoPro cameras. This Garmin smartwatch was $549 and will be on sale for $399.

Photo Sourced from Best Buy.

Get some air and capture some amazing images while you travel with this Ryze Tech Tello Boost Combo Quadcopter!

Take professional quality aerial shots with this drone (marked down to $99.99).
Photo Sourced from Best Buy.

Not in the market for a drone? Best Buy has other great items that may interest you, like the GoPro line of cameras. On Cyber Monday, Best Buy will have GoPro cameras on sale, ranging from $249 to $599 and with a savings of up to $200.

Get this GoPro Hero5 4k Action Camera for just $249.99 on Cyber Monday!
Photo Sourced from Best Buy.

Apparel and accessories

Other interesting items this holiday season include Sauvs Outdoor Shoes. From November 23-26, you will get $20 off your first pair, $25 off each pair when buying two, and $30 off each pair when buying three.

Made of premium 3D knitting technology, Suavs Shoes are light, breathable, and sweat-wicking—they were even designed to prevent blistering and are perfect for the outdoors lover on your gift list!
Photo Sourced from Suavs Shoes.

Timbuk2 is having a great sale on backpacks, with different models for every need. Their products range from messenger bags to backpacks and totes, with a range of models and colors. For those weekend hiking trips, these could really come in handy.

Their Armory Laptop Backback is on sale for $76 from $109.
Photo Sourced from Timbuk2.
The Blink Backpack is water resistant and expandable, on sale from $119 to $71!
Photo Sourced from Timbuk2.
The Rift Backpack is lightweight and converts into a tote bag—on sale for $53!
Photo Sourced from Timbuk2.

Travel must-haves

Handy items to have with you while traveling include the Scrubba Wash Bag, this awesome goTenna Mesh hotspot, a Bose portable speaker, and this ingenious Grayl purifying water bottle.

This Scrubba Wash Bag is perfect for backpackers and travelers who are on the go and won't always have access to a laundromat. Complete with a flexible washboard, the compact, lightweight wash bag will save both time and money.

The Scrubba Wash collection takes care of all your travel laundry needs, with savings of up to 65% on Cyber Monday!
Photo Sourced from Scrubba.

Tired of worrying about cell service and Wi-Fi when you're traveling. This goTenna Mesh hotspot lets you send texts and GPS locations without needing service.

goTenna is offering 20% off the $199 Mesh with the code COMETOGETHER.
Photo Sourced from goTenna.

Grayl's purifying water bottle has an ingenious design and is definitely a necessity for those traveling in less developed areas. Where global travel and adventure meet preparation, these water bottles purify and filter water with one click—and without using UV bulbs or chemicals. While they are not advertising a Cyber Monday offer right now, they will ship these Ultralight Purifiers for free!

Purified water in one click! These water bottles make it easy to travel.
Photo Sourced from Grayl.

And for a little entertainment while on the road, these Bose speakers are portable and the perfect size for traveling. Get yours on Cyber Monday for $109.95, marked down from $130.

These portable speakers are perfect for adding a little bit of color and sound to your outdoor adventures!
Photo Sourced from Bose.

Experiences

For those who are looking for experiences rather than things, REI is offering classes and events for up to 30% off with the promo code OUTSIDE30. Events must be booked between November 24 and December 2, and they range from day climbing adventures or overnight biking trips to brewery pint nights and GoPro photography courses.

Get outside and explore with REI!

P.S. Target has yet to release any concrete Cyber Monday deals, but you should know ahead of time that they are offering free, two-day shipping on all orders, with no minimum!


Cyber-Monday-footer--1--2

Craving more? On Cyber Monday, Glamping Hub is adding 20% to any gift card purchase!