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6 Smart Travel Items that Will Make Your Journeys Easier

6 Smart Travel Items that Will Make Your Journeys Easier | CosmosMariners.com

One of the thing I hear the most from readers about travel is how stressful the entire packing and preparation process is. Yet, with the amazing advancements in technology available, traveling has become easier and more fun than ever. 

From the perfect additions for our iPhones to protecting valuables, and from photography improvements to hammocks that cradle the body in the most comfortable of positions, check out these must-have travel items you need this year to make your journeys easier.

Odds + (Week) Ends: A Travel Round-up | Vol. 13

Odds + (Week) Ends: A Travel Round-up, Vol. 13 | CosmosMariners.com

After a crazy weekend, I'm back and ready to face the new week!

On Saturday, my husband took our daughter for a drive in the nearby forest, which is a weekend tradition that the two of them have. Normally, Landon and Britton have some great daddy-daughter bonding time looking at the swamps, finding birds, and seeing if they can spot a deer or two. This past Saturday, they went out as usual and drove the same dirt roads they've visited many times before...only this time, I got a call at 9:15 from Landon that they'd gotten stuck.

Inishmore, Gaelic Trivia Night, and Iron Age Forts: Why the Aran Islands Must Be a Part of Your Ireland Trip

Inishmore, Gaelic Trivia Night, and Iron Age Forts: Why the Aran Islands Must Be on Your Ireland Trip | CosmosMariners.com

As the itinerary for our Ireland trip came together, I knew two things had to happen: 1) I had to stay in a castle while we were there, and 2) we had to visit the Aran Islands. Everything else was negotiable as long as both of those stipulations were satisfied.

Thankfully, both experiences ended up being just as fantastic as I'd hoped they'd be. I knew that I wanted to visit the Aran Islands in some capacity because they are isolated from mainland Ireland (something that's always appealing since I love to get off the beaten path!) and because they kept popping up as one of the must-do items in everything I read about Ireland.

8 Historic Houses to Add to Your Italy Itinerary

8 Historic Houses to Add to Your Italy Itinerary | CosmosMariners.com

Although I love learning about history while traveling, not all history-themed attractions are created equal. If you find museums are impersonal or overwhelming, consider visiting a historical home or two on your next visit. Not only are they more personal since you get to learn about the people who lived there, but they also give you a much more approachable way to learn about history since you can see (and sometimes touch) the things that made up life decades or centuries ago.

How to Spend a Weekend on Seabrook Island, South Carolina

How to Spend a Weekend on Seabrook Island, South Carolina | CosmosMariners.com

It's almost here.

The time when my baby sister decides to be all grown up and get married. I know that she's an adult--she's gainfully employed and has a dog and a house and all that--but there's something so finite about her leaving her bachelorette days behind to move in with my soon-to-be brother-in-law.

Tropical Fun: Snorkeling and Shopping in Grand Cayman

Tropical Fun: Snorkeling and Shopping in Grand Cayman | CosmosMariners.com

I never have to be tempted to head somewhere warm and tropical. So, when we were planning our 5th anniversary trip last year (we're big into giving trips and experiences instead of exchanging gifts), my husband and I knew we'd probably end up somewhere in the Caribbean.

Wild and Wonderful Connemara, Ireland

Wild and Wonderful Connemara, Ireland | CosmosMariners.com

My husband, Landon, and I have found that some of our best times traveling occur when we've got nothing planned. When we went to Scotland a few years ago, we scrapped our entire itinerary one day on the suggestions of one of the hotel staff; we wandered around the Trossachs for a day and that remains one of our favorite travel days ever.

Odds + (Week) Ends: A Weekly Travel Round-up | Vol. 12

Odds + (Week) Ends: A Weekly Travel Round-up, Vol. 12 | CosmosMariners.com


It's Monday again, fellow Mariners...and Daylight Savings Time on top of it. While this makes for the worst combination known to man when it comes to getting motivated this morning, I hope that you had an excellent weekend to make up for the decided lack of sunshine in today's A.M. (It is Pi Day, if that helps perk you up!)

Staying at a Hostel with Kids: What to Do to Make Your Visit Easy and Fun {Guest Post by Tripelio}

Staying at a Hostel with Kids: What to Do to Make Your Visit Easy and Fun {Guest Post by Tripelio} | CosmosMariners.com

While I'm off having fun on my sister's bachelorette party weekend (don't worry--we don't get too wild and crazy), I'm handing the blog over to Jess, the travel blogger at Tripelio.

Like many people, she makes use of hostels when she travels. Her article today takes the topic of hostels--which have a reputation for being centered around 20-something backpackers--and shows how they can be an excellent resource for traveling families.

How to Achieve Instagram Perfection in Montreal {Guest Post by FlightHub}

How to Achieve Instagram Perfection in Montreal {Guest Post by FlightHub} | CosmosMariners.com

Last month, the editors at FlightHub took over my blog for a day to share all of the reasons that they thought the Canadian city of Montreal was magical. They're back today to tell you how to best capture all of that incredible scenery on your Instagram feed!

Hotel Sonne: A History-themed Inn in the Heart of Füssen, Germany | A Review

Hotel Sonne: A Review of a History-themed Inn in the Heart of Füssen, Germany | CosmosMariners.com

After several fun days in Munich and Ettal, our road trip through Germany next took us to the picturesque Bavarian town of Füssen. The day of our arrival was grey and rainy, but we were excited to explore the city and the famous Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles nearby.

Before we could  do any of that, we wanted to get settled into our room at our hotel, the Hotel Sonne. After reading dozens of reviews online for the Hotel Sonne and other accommodations in and around Füssen, my family and I had settled on this place because of its excellent reviews and unique historical theming.

Cruisin' down South Carolina's Highway 17: A Road Trip Itinerary

Cruisin' down South Carolina's Highway 17: A Road Trip Itinerary | CosmosMariners.com
The open road (and the beach) awaits!
As you cross over the North Carolina-South Carolina border on Highway 17, there's not much to indicate why this stretch of highway is worth of a dedicated road trip: there are lots of pines as far as you can see and a few ponds here and there.

If you stick with the road for a bit longer, you'll soon be treated to an overview of everything that coastal South Carolina has to offer. Instead of bisecting the state on the much bigger and busier I-95 (which runs through the Midlands portion of South Carolina), you'll be able to see some of the most picturesque parts of my home state. With an average speed limit of 55, South Carolina's Highway 17 allows you to meander through North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, pass through the Hammock Coast, drive through Charleston, and linger along the marshlands near Beaufort.

Pecan Pie Bars: St. Francis Inn, St. Augustine, Florida | Tasty Travels

Pecan Pie Bars: St. Francis Inn, St. Augustine, Florida | CosmosMariners.com

I'm not one to stand still for very long, literally or figuratively. As a travel blog, CosmosMariners.com has grown beyond my wildest imagination, and I can't wait to see where it will take me in the coming months and years. Even though I love the narrative driven posts and the must-do lists that you see on here most of the time, I've had an itch to try something new that still fits into my travel brand.