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Destination: Tips to take into 2018


Photo credit Marctran

Travel Bags With Annita & Friends celebrated the final episode of the year with a special gift for our listeners: travel tips and tricks to make 2018 your best year yet! Annita was joined by travel friends Marjorie, Nichole, and Olivia to discuss their favorite tips but it didn’t stop there. Oprah Magazine Insiders from all over the country sent in their best travel advice too! Read on for essential travel knowledge from Annita’s fellow O-Mag Insiders.

We start with links below to the Travel Bags With Annita Show which aired on Dec. 30th.


      1. NYE Tips 2018 1

Travel tips with Nichole Roberts, Olivia Varnson, Tonya Parker and Shelley Webb

      2. 2

Travel tips with Tanya Taylor, Amber Mamian, Sarah Harris and Amy Boyle

      3. 3

Travel tips with Eileen Fruithandler and Nichole Roberts

      4. 4

Travel tips with Sarah Hirsch, Ann Brasco, Stephanie Graney, Rachel Simmonds, Nichole Roberts and Sarah Harris


27207607 - happy female trainer with class stretching hands at yoga class
Photo credit- Wavebreak Media

Healthy travel

App suggestion: Find Me GF. This app helps you find gluten-free options in your area. It was the only way I could drive across the country this summer and locate gluten-free restaurants! It was a lifesaver!

– Rachel Robles Simmonds –

  • Food allergies? Stephanie suggests that you scout out the areas before you head out to see the closest grocery stores.
  • GF/DF products are expensive in the store but still cheaper than going to a restaurant every meal with a family of four.

– Stephanie Becky Hubbard Graney –

  • Wherever I go, I buy a yoga mat. I give it away or donate it when I’m leaving.
  • I am up early for coffee = quiet and meditation time. My alarm rings with the message “I am grateful for___________”. I write an IAGF (I write that) in my Oprah thought for a daybook or journal from OMagInsiders! This sets my intention, although every morning I pray “God, use me today.”
  • I always bring sneakers to walk somewhere outside.
  • My mat is open near a bed or couch for the reminder to go there first. “If you don’t want to change, don’t get on a yoga mat.” I do my flow that I teach and practice. Stand with your arms at your side, raise arms up, forward fold or bend to the earth, look up to the sunrise and open your heart, “vinyasa” or plank (push-up), up dog, down dog, warrior poses, and do a tree pose on each leg.
  • AS LONG AS YOU INHALE AND EXHALE WITH INTENTION, you will feel stronger and peaceful where it counts, in your heart. Sit cross-legged on the mat, lay back with knees up and twist side to side.
  • Let go with love at the end in “svasana” or meditate for as long as you can. End with hands to your heart center, from the light in me to the light in the universe, Namaste.

– Eileen Fruithandler from


Everyone should cover up when on the beach.

Multi-generational travel

  • Choose a resort or a destination that has plenty of activities for all ages.
  • Try to do dinner all together at a reasonable hour, so little ones don’t get tired. Dinners are great for the group can come together and share what they did during the day.
  • Choose a resort with a kids club or use your family as babysitters to get a night out for those who can stay up late.
  • Ask the resort if they will facilitate fun games or team building exercises. This is a great way to get to know your family better.

– Sarah Hirsch from


  • SAFETY – Consider what activities are age appropriate for elderly travelers, small children and those with health conditions. Think of dietary needs. Be aware of ambulatory and walking restrictions. Be sun smart. Drink plenty of liquids.
  • SAVINGS – There is no need to break the bank making memories. Creating these lifelong highlights don’t require the fanciest of accommodations or the priciest of souvenirs. Collect memories, not stuff.
  • SOLO TIME – As much as inter-generational vacations are about connecting, build in downtime where you can be alone or away from the group to recharge and rebalance. This will greatly reduce stress and can amplify gratitude.
  • SLOW DOWN – We often pack in as many events and activities as we can only to return home feeling we need a vacation from our vacation. Make this adventure stress free and slow down. It is about the quality of interaction rather than checking every sight to see an event to experience off the list.
  • SANITY – Leave your expectations at home. Plan for your trip and then plan for the unexpected to occur. Remember you may not have control over other people’s comments or behaviors, but your reaction is always completely within your control. Ride with the tide and don’t let small changes make a big damper. When considering the amount of time, planning and money going into the trip remember that committing yourself to having a positive and grateful attitude is the best investment in the trip that you can make.

– Ann Brasco from


  • Let Kids Help With Planning- if you want your kids engaged in the activities you plan on your next family trip make sure you involve them in the planning.
  • Embrace the Little Things- kids and grandparents alike are more in tune with finding joy in the smaller more ordinary moments. So, slow down the pace of your multi-generational trip and plan for some quality downtime. You can grab coffee and head to a local park, plan for a family dinner at a kid-friendly restaurant, or just go for a walk.

Amber Mamian from



Packing tips

Always pick a color palette-typically one or two colors that pop and neutral staples to make dressing chic easier! Create a travel capsule by selecting items to mix and match, and for dressier nights I limit the number of shoes I have to bring by choosing nude heels which go with anything!

– Tonya Parker from


Save the shower caps they give you in hotels to use like shoe covers when packing. They easily keep the bottom of your shoes separate from the rest of your clothing.

– Shelley Webb from


Photography tips

As a mom and professional photographer, I could easily be out of the picture per se. When it comes to vacation photos, we all have a camera and take our story-telling images that reflect the flavor of our trip and then compile a joint album that tells the whole story of our vacations.

– Amy Boyle from


66526864 - children look out from a car window.little boy and girl playing inside a trip

Road trip tips

  • For road trips with our young children, we preferred to get on the road late at night. Late night trips for the kiddos mean fewer bathroom breaks and fewer stops for hungry tummies, and more open roads and quiet enjoyment. By the time the children begin to wake up, we are much closer to our destination.
  • We always have our vehicle tuned-up and checked out before a long trip. We keep a set of jumper cables in the car, flares, and tire changing equipment in the trunk. Keeping some warm blankets in tow comes in handy. Fully charged cell phones are a must for the start of the trip. We have a AAA membership, which has been well worth it over the years with flat tires and keys locked inside the car. The AAA discount on hotel rooms is a great value as well. Often, the discount saved from one trip exceeds the cost of an annual membership.

Ann Brasco from



Technology tips


  • If you can, leave the devices at home – the less, the better.  Have fun with paper maps and exploring…. be in the moment and enjoy the sites and sounds around you!
  • If you can’t leave the devices behind and forget your charger or have limited access to outlets, use the USB plug on the back of a TV as a way to charge your phone.  You won’t always know if this is available in your room, but lots of hotels are upgrading TVs and providing HD viewing.   Another option is to invest in carry-on’s with a built-in battery so that you can charge any USB device and check maps, email, etc. while on the go!  When visiting restaurants, we check the walls for outlets for a quick recharge, too.

– Tanya Taylor from

Got get 'em. The deals are out there - book early!

Travel savings

  • Try an alternate form of travel. We recently eliminated the need for a hotel the first night by taking the red-eye Megabus from LA to San Francisco. Find out where the Mega Bus line originates and if it’s reasonably close, consider driving there to get on when the bus is emptier.
  • Watch the currency conversion on that first trip from the airport to the hotel because the taxi drivers know it’s new, and yes, they got us for 10x what we owed them.  

– Sarah Harris from


  • Clear your cookies and search history. Companies are paying BIG BUCKS to follow your search patterns in hopes of being able to up their prices when they see that you want something (by continually searching for that item) this includes airlines. Open a new incognito browser or clear your cookies and search history to avoid this unnecessary fees.
  • Know when to fly. hosted a survey which analyzed over 560 million flight searches. They concluded that the optimal time to purchase plane tickets was on average seven weeks in advance (for domestic flights). For international flights, Cheap Air found your best bet to be 11-12 weeks before departure. The absolute WORST time to book is within 14 days of flying. You can also be penalized by booking too far in advance (5+ months).
  • Outsmart the system with stopovers and multi-city tickets. Let’s say you want to get to Paris, but direct flights are incredibly high. You might find that a direct flight into London and then take a train ride to Paris is MUCH cheaper.

– Amber Mamian from



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