Friday, August 15, 2014

Vacation in Hawaii Like a Tourist or a Local: Part 1

Visiting Hawaii as a tourist and visiting Hawaii as a local are two completely different experiences. Although many of the activities you do will overlap, many of the spots you choose to do them will differ. There's a reason for that, and it's all about experience. If you are going to Hawaii for the first time, it is definitely recommended to go do all the tourist things the first couple of days you get there. Once you check all your tourist activities off your list, start diving into more exploration. If you are like most people, you will probably be traveling to Oahu or Maui. Here's our list for traveling like a tourist in Oahu and Maui:

Tourist Travel

  1. Diamond Head Crater: This natural phenomenon gives you awesome views of the island, gives you a pretty good workout, and will tell you how the islands were formed.
  2. Get a surf lesson: When in Hawaii, try surfing. It seems pretty obvious, but it had to be on the list! Make sure to make time to lay on the beach with the turtles and catch some rays too!
  3. Bishop Museum: Interested in history? This is a great museum to learn about Hawaii's natural and cultural history. 
  4. Iolani Palace: See how the Hawaiian royalty used to live on the island. This palace is another great place to learn about the history of Hawaii.
  5. Pearl Harbor: This is a true American monument. Most people know the story of Pearl Harbor, so go see where all the action happened and feast your eyes on the real artifacts. 
  6. Hanauma Bay: This bay is a wildlife protected area of the island and is the best place for snorkeling. There is a fee to get into the bay but the money goes toward habitat rehabilitation and protection.
  7. Polynesian Cultural Center: Learn about polynesian culture from all the polynesian islands, including Hawaii. Experience authentic food, dancing, canoeing, carving and more. 
  8. Kualoa Ranch: This beautiful ranch sits in Ka'a'awa Valley and is used for many famous movie and TV show sites. Taking a tour of Kualoa allows you to learn Hawaii's history and culture. Go ATV-ing or ride horses, and drink in the natural beauty of Hawaii.
  9. USS Arizona Memorial: If you like war history, this is a great landmark to include in your tour. It will tell you all about the attacks on Pearl Harbor and how the USS Arizona played an important role in the war. 
  10. Dole Plantation: This is one of the most visited places on Oahu. Check out the plantation, the gardens, eat DoleWhip, and even take home a ripe Hawaiian pineapple. 
  1. Maui Ocean Center: Learn about the marine life around Hawaii and watch fish and sharks swim around your head.
  2. Haleakala Crater: Beautiful landscapes and views of the island. Go in the morning or late at night to watch sunrises and sunsets.
  3. Road to Hana: This extreme winding road allows you to see some pretty beautiful waterfalls and views of the island.
  4. Old Lahaina Luau: A traditional luau in full force! Watch amazing dancers while dining on Hawaiian food.
  5. Maui Gold Pineapple Tour: Like the dole plantation, you can tour the grounds, taste, pineapple, and take some pineapple home with you.
  6. Surf and Snorkel: These two are obvious must do activities, but make sure you take a surf lesson and swim with the fish and turtles!
  7. Hike in Iao Valley: This valley has beautiful waterfalls and is lush green and perfect for some exercise. 
  8. Lahaina Town: This little town is a must see place with lots of restaurants and shops. This is an old ocean town that has become a tourist destination. There are lots of tourist traps here but lots of cute little gems as well. 
So there are our tourist things to do in Oahu and Maui. There is so much to see and do in the Hawaiian islands, you should definitely take advantage of all of it! If you are interested in how to travel like a local in the islands then stay tuned for our blog post next week. When flying to the islands, don't forget to bring your TravelRest Pillow to sleep on!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tips, Tricks, and Accessories for Traveling with Kids

If you have kids then you know exactly how hard it can be to juggle taking care of the little ones, getting from A to B, while still enjoying yourself. Even though you love your children, having them around does make travel a little more stressful and little more difficult. With so much focus on your family, you might easily forget to take some time to take care of yourself and enjoy the moment. This is why we've created this list of tips, tricks, and the best accessories for making travel with kids simpler, more relaxing, and fun!

  1. Plan at Least 2 Weeks in Advance so you have enough time to gather everything you need before a trip. Life can be very busy, so giving yourself at least 2 weeks should be more than enough time to put the small details of the trip together. 
  2. Make Lists: having lists to check off may sometimes help alleviate the stress of having to remember all the details of a trip. Because kids take so much care, you don't want to forget anything important at home, and having a list will help.
  3. Visit the Doctor: If you are taking a relatively big trip to a foreign country, make sure you visit the doctor before taking your child along with you. Kids are very susceptible to illness so you should make sure your trip will be suitable for a child. 
  4. Help Them Pack: If you have babies, then you will definitely be doing all the packing for them. However, if you have toddlers and older children they may have preferences on what they would like to take. Kids feel empowered and important when you let them make decisions on their own, and they will often be much happier on the trip if they know they chose to pack a particular item themselves. You should definitely guide them in the right direction and make sure all the necessities are met, but let them help decide what they might want to bring. It's also a good way for kids to learn what steps are taken when planning for a trip.
  5. Talk Ahead of Time and Prepare Kids: It can be shocking for kids to just get put in the car or a bus or a plane and just take off to another place. Make sure the entire week before a trip you start to let your kids know where your going, when, and what types of things you might be doing. The day and hours before entering the car or plane, let your kids know what types of sensations they might experience, and let them know you'll be there to take care of them the entire way. Mentally preparing them might help them act braver about travel.

  1. Snack Organization: There are plenty of ways to organize snacks, but we've seen a couple we really like. One way is to use a jewelry or bead box organizer to fit very small amounts of many different types of snacks. Another way is to just utilize ziplock bags with each persons name on it. If one kid wants a snack but not the other, you will know exactly which bag to pull snacks from. 
  2. Activity Organization: Use a hangable amenities or beauty bag to store different activities for kids. These can hang on the back of the seat or from the clothes hooks in the car. For plane trips, the activity bags roll up to fit in a bag while still remaining organized. 
  3. Hard Candy for Airplanes: Taking a hard candy like life savers on an airplane is great for kids because letting them suck on candy can often help with pressure equalization. Giving them a couple pieces during takeoff and a couple pieces during descent will probably do the trick. 
  4. Surprise Kids: Keep a surprise treat or toy in your bag until part way through the trip and surprise your kids with something special. It will uplift their mood and feel like they just received a nice present. 
  5. Separate Outfits in Ziplock Bags: Putting each outfit in a bag for each designated day or occasion makes getting dressed easier, and less fussy. 

  1. The Travelrest Bundle: Travelrest's pillow, blanket, and memory foam cover are must have items for traveling with kids. Have enough for each child or person in your family so everyone can get some quick shut eye when they need it. Travelrest's sleep accessories for travel make resting simple, comfortable, and quick. 
  2. Kids Backpack/ Luggage: Let kids take some of their own items in a small backpack or luggage. It will help keep their items separate and easily accessible to them. You won't have to worry about misplacing your kids items amongst yours since they will be toting some things themselves. Not to mention, offering them the responsibility of taking their own bag can make your kids feel like adults. Just make sure they don't leave their bag anywhere!
  3. Snack Stackers: Stackable, portable, small snack bins that give you options and eliminate mess. We really like ZoLi's stacking snack dispensers. 
  4. Tablet or Portable Media Player: Having a tablet or portable media player for your kids on long trips can help keep them entertained, while leaving you relaxed. Although you don't want to leave your child unattended with a media player in hand all the time, it can definitely make the car rides and airplane rides easier to manage. 
  5. Books & Games: Don't underestimate the power of a good read or some simple board games. Kids can find entertainment and fun in simple things, so make sure you bring books and games for them to keep busy. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Adventures of the TravelRest Blanket: Best Uses and Tips for Folding Back Up

The TravelRest blanket is one of the best travel accessories to have for people who need to travel cheap. Nowadays, airlines rarely provide blankets for customers unless you pay the premium to sit in business or first class. It can be very chilly while flying, and the TravelRest blanket offers a perfect solution. Despite its ability to store back in a fairly small carrying case, and the lightweight quality of the micro fleece, the TravelRest blanket keeps you plenty warm on flights and much more. So what can the blanket be used for and in what circumstances will you need it the most?

Ways to Use the TravelRest Blanket

When the blanket is already folded up in the carrying case, it can be used for lumbar support and as a more traditional feeling pillow. Although smaller than a full sized pillow, it still offers the right amount of cushion and comfort to help you get some shut eye.

If you are someone who needs to place something soft between your knees while sleeping, then the folded up blanket can offer you relief.

When the blanket is expanded to its full size you can choose to wear it like a normal blanket, or you can use the hole in the blanket to wear it like a poncho. The poncho style is nice, because it keeps the blanket from moving or slipping after you fall asleep. This method definitely keeps you the warmest, as it creates the feeling of being tucked in bed.

When the blanket is folded in its carrying case, you can also attach it to the outside of your luggage or bag with the small snapped loop on the case.

Places to Use the TravelRest Blanket
  1. Car: Long road trip? No problem! Leaving a Travelrest blanket in the car for long car rides, or for your family and friends to take naps in the car has never been easier. Because the Travelrest blanket stows away in such a small and storable case, it will take up barely any space in your car. 
  2. Airplane: Like stated earlier, airlines rarely offer blankets anymore. The Travelrest blanket is perfect sized blanket to fit in any carry on bag, and if it doesn't fit it can snap to the bag handle. You'll never have to worry about being cold on a plane again.  
  3. Train: Make short and long train rides more comfortable. Trains are often air conditioned and in the summer when you might hop on the train in shorts, having a blanket to keep you warm until your destination will truly be helpful.
  4. Bus: Traveling around by bus? Buses can often be the most uncomfortable method of travel. Space is crammed, the seats recline very little, and you have no place to get up and stretch your legs. Having a Travelrest pillow could really help you sleep through the situation, and the blanket would be the extra touch of comfort. 
  5. Home: the Travelrest blanket is the perfect stowaway blanket for the couch or living room. It will take barely any space and is great for curling up to read a book, watch a movie, or take a quick nap.
  6. Camping: Curl up next to the campfire, or add an extra layer in your sleeping bag! Camping can get a bit cold at night, but no one likes carrying extra weight when they camp. The Travelrest blanket is a perfect solution. 
  7. Wheelchair: people who have to use a wheelchair often don't conduct body heat very well due to the lack of body movement while sitting. The Travelrest blanket is great for those who suffer from lack of circulation and body heat. 
  8. Beach: Use the Travelrest blanket to keep warm when the beach gets breezy.

Tips for Folding

Check out the video that teaches you to fold the blanket properly. It took me watching the video two times to figure it out. Here are my tips:
  • When the instructor says to flip the pocket inside out, that means to make sure its flipped where the Travelrest logo snap is on the outside. 
  • If you don't want to fold it nicely, you can simply stuff the blanket inside the pouch. It isn't as flat or comfortable, but it works. 
  • After the pocket is properly flipped, fold the blanket along the seam of the zipper but make sure that after you lay it down the pocket is sticking up above the folded blanket like a top hat. 
  • After this part, the rest of the instructions are pretty straight forward. 

Contact Us if you have any more questions about how to use the Travelrest blanket or if you'd like to share your most creative places and ways you've used the blanket!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

6 of Our Favorite National Parks Around the World

Most countries have national parks where the most beautiful monuments are preserved in nature. If you are an outdoor enthusiast and love to travel, then national parks definitely make your bucket list. With so many to choose from it can be difficult to decide which national parks will give you that awe factor the most. Luckily, Travelrest has had some experience with national parks and we can offer you some insight into which were our favorites. Let us break it down by area.


The US has hundreds of parks you can visit, and each one is filled with different wonders. If you haven't been to a ton of national parks in the US we highly recommend exploring here before moving on to other countries. 

1. Yosemite National Park: Yosemite is one of the most pristine, and heavily visited national parks. The famous John Muir Trail begins in Yosemite, along with a variety of other spectacular hikes. Yosemite has enormous waterfalls, lookout points, advanced hiking and beginner hiking, and easy access to many of the park's best features. If you dare, try making the hike to the top of half dome. This will certainly give you perspective on the enormity of this national park. Everyone can enjoy some natural beauty at Yosemite.

2. Zion National Park: Zion has a lot to offer in terms of hiking. If you are an advanced hiker and a bit of a daredevil, then Angel's Landing is an incredible journey. Many people attempt this hike, but few finish as they realize the difficulty and dangers of it. If you make it to the end, the reward is like being on top of the world! Zion also offers easier hikes that take you along winding rivers through the multi colored sandstone canyons. The colors in the rock are incredibly beautiful, and you'll find awe around every corner. 


3. Plitvice Lakes National Park: Plitvice Lakes is a series of lakes all in a single area in Croatia. Each lake cascades into the next with breathtaking waterfalls, and clear emerald water. The national park has set up boardwalks that allow you to walk right across the lakes for the best views of the waterfalls. This national park is so remarkable that it still made this list even though we visited on a cold, overcast, rainy day. 


4. Patagonia National Park: Recognize that name? Probably because you've seen the clothing brand named after the national park being sported by other outdoor obsessed people. Patagonia covers a huge area of about half of Argentina and Chile. Patagonia has penguins, glaciers, pumas, the Torres del Paine and so much more! You could spend a lifetime exploring Patagonia alone. When visiting Patagonia expect to experience all four seasons in a single day. It's common to begin a hike wearing shorts in the sun, and end the hike bundling up because of snowfall. 


5. Fuji Hakone Izu National Park: This national park in Japan is famous for its seemingly perfect, cone shaped, snow capped Mount Fuji. Take a hike on Mt. Fuji or go for a relaxing dip in a natural hot spring. The landscape ranges from coastal, islands, to mountains and lakes. You can find plenty to see and do at this national park in Japan. Make sure you take a delicious traditional Japanese bento box for lunch on your excursions!

6. Komodo National Park: Komodo national park is located in Indonesia and is perfect for someone looking to have a bit of a tropical vacation. Go looking for Komodo Dragons in this park, or visit one of the flourishing reefs for a dive. This place is perfect for people interested in seeing abundant wildlife, and taking lots of mini excursions and adventures.

There, you have it! Although it's difficult to choose favorites when it comes to natural wonders, these 6 stood out to us. Let us know which national parks are your favorite! And don't forget to take a Travelrest pillow, blanket, or mask when making the trip to these amazing places. Good times require good rest, and there's no better way to rest on the go than with Travelrest. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Three NEW Products from Travelrest®

Travelrest® recently released three amazing products to help our customers get better rest while on the go. We released a sleep mask set, U-shaped memory foam pillow, and new memory foam and velour cover for the classic Travelrest pillow.

The first product we released is the Travelrest Tranquility sleep mask set. This kit comes with a sleep mask, earplugs, and satin bag to hold the items. The sleep mask is made of a soft material that contours to the face, has eye pockets for air flow, and room for blinking for a natural feel. If you are someone who likes keeping things orderly while traveling, this kit would be a great addition to your Travelrest Pillow. The satin bag keeps the earplugs and the mask together so you’ll never have to go fishing for them in your bag.

The second item we recently released is the memory foam neck pillow. For those people who enjoy the classic feel of the U-shaped neck pillow, our Travelrest neck pillow will meet every need you are looking for. The ultra soft feel of the outer cover, combined with the contouring effects of the memory foam will surely help you sleep comfortably. There is also a small adjustable clip that attaches the open ends of the U-shaped pillow, so the pillow never moves once you find that perfectly comfortable position.

The final item we released recently is the new and improved Travelrest memory foam cover. After many reviews of the old cover not fully meeting everyone’s expectations, we did a lot of designing and testing to find the perfect solution. This completely new cover is made of incredibly soft velour that anyone will want to cuddle up to. There is an added zipper to the cover running along the side that allows the pillow to easily slide in and out. The hole near the bottom of the cover fits snugly around the valve, and the hole at the top allows the drawstring to still be used. There are also two pockets inside the cover where memory foam pads can be added for extra comfort. Lastly, the extra stretchy and durable elastic at the bottom of the cover allow you to roll up the pillow without removing the cover, and still be able to attach it to your luggage. We tested the cover out for 4 months of travel and it didn’t disappoint even once! This new cover is definitely worth the $14.95 for the added bit of comfort while traveling!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Packing for Travel Made Easy

Are you someone who has difficulty deciding what to take with you on a trip? Do you tend to overpack, forget important items, or take half a day to finish packing? Well, you aren't alone. Tons of people struggle with packing! Luckily, there are plenty of online resources to help you with your packing troubles. Here are some of the best resources:

1. Pinterest

We are always pushing pinterest for anything travel related. People post tons of packing lists for different locations, and you can be sure to find whatever packing help you need there. Whether its an image of a packing list, or a link to a packing website, pinterest is a great place to start for some packing help.

2. HerPackingList

Her Packing List is a blog site for women who travel. It offers tons of options for packing lists based on where you are going, what time of year, how long you will be traveling and more. HerPackingList is a great website for females packing for a place they've never been. It always good to have a little insight into what you should wear and take with you. It is important to respect the cultures of different places and dress can be a large part of that. This blog site is sure to take all those factors into account give you some of the best packing tips out there!

3. PackWhiz

PackWhiz is a website that allows you to customize your own packing list. It's been featured on Oprah, Lifehacker, and cool website of the day. Packwhiz give you the choice to use someone else's pre-made packing list for yourself, or create your own custom one to share with others. Use the packing list online or print it out and cross things off as you go.

4. Travel Tips and Tricks

Look on the web or pinterest for travel tips and tricks. Small tips and tricks can save you tons of space, and can help you avoid taking too much. If you check our TravelRest's pin board on Pinterest for travel tips and tricks, we are constantly finding little things that can help make your travels easier. From DIY mini single sized ointment packs, to car activity packs, to fire starters, to packing techniques that save space, theres a solution for everything!

Sleep is another one of those essential things you need to travel and enjoy your trip. Make your trip a little more enjoyable by making it easier to nap wherever you go. TravelRest makes rest easy and comfortable, so don't forget to take a travelrest pillow with you on your travels!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Best Online Resources for Travel Planning

When it comes to planning your travels, ditch the travel books and search the web! Books are heavy and a pain to carry around when on the road. By searching the web and finding the perfect resources for each location you're going to, you can simply create a small itinerary folder to guide you on your trip. Here are some of our favorite online resources for trip planning:


1. Pinterest

Pinterest is a treasure trove of great ideas for travel. Whether you know where you would like to visit, or if you are still looking for a great place to go, Pinterest will definitely serve your needs. Posts on guides to exploring locations are common, and beautiful, awe inspiring photos will have you building a long list of places you'd like to see in the world. When we traveled Europe for three months, Pinterest was always one of our first choices for finding the next place to check out.

2. Rick Steves

Rick Steves  website is also a great resource for trip planning. His best articles and guides are definitely on countries in Europe, but he's been all over. The great thing about Rick Steves is that he recommends sights and places off the beaten path. These unique locations he recommends will be a better representation of the location's culture and country than other tourism driven places. We definitely noticed the difference in location choices when we used Rick's recommendations in Europe.

3. Trip Bucket

Trip Bucket is a forum where people post places they would like to go and they have been and share their ideas and experiences from travel. It's basically a huge collection of bucket lists from people all around the world and feedback from the parts they've completed. You can even create your own bucket list on there! They have recommendations of festivals, places, restaurants, sights, and more. You can sort lists by the most sought after destinations, man made versus natural, spiritual, extreme, sports...I think you get the point, but this site is awesome!

Places to Stay

1. Hostelworld and BedandBreakfastworld

Hostel World and Bed and Breakfast World are two great websites to find cheap places to stay all over the world. All you do is type in your destination and dates and they give you options based on what hostels, hotels, or bed and breakfasts have. You can narrow results to female only rooms, male only, co-ed rooms, or singles. Most of the places listed have ratings and reviews which usually helps in deciding where to stay. We found that the reviews became the most important aspect of choosing a place because everyone's standards and preferences for what is considered a good experience is different.

2. Airbnb

Airbnb is a great resource for people who are sick of staying in hotels and hostels. Airbnb offers a range of properties, but essentially is a place where people post homes, apartments, or rooms for rent. It has the same concept as staying in a hotel or bed and breakfast, with a warmer more homey touch. If you are worried that someone who has posted a listing is a serial killer or something, don't worry, people leave reviews for people they've stayed with and the website makes sure the listings are safe.

Vacation Deals

Everyone loves a good deal on an all inclusive vacation. Here are some of the best sights for getting the best deals for a vacation:

1. TravelZoo

TravelZoo publishes a top 20 every week on the best 20 deals you can get for travels. They have discounts on plane tickets, hotels, all inclusive vacation packages, and more. They even have options for local deals around you! Whether its food, mini excursions, or a one night getaway to a hotel, TravelZoo will be sure to let you know when to buy a deal.

2. Living Social

Living Social is a great resource for local deals and grand vacations. There are new options for deals almost every day and we can almost always find something that perks our interest. Its good to check in on this website from time to time to see what deals they have to offer.