Monthly Archives: April 2016

Product Review: Squeeze Pod

photo 1Recently I did a piece for a travel website on Squeeze Pod, a line of single-use toiletries designed to be completely leak proof and made from natural ingredients. I was curious to learn more about them, not just for the story, but as someone who can’t pass up on having a solid hair conditioner or facial cleanser while on the road.

Sold in packets or grouped kits, Squeeze Pod pods extend to shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, body wash, hair gel, moisturizer, and what’s called a toilet odor eliminator.

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Having gotten a Squeeze Pod Gimme Shelter kit to renew as part of my assignment, I put it to the test. Here’s my take on these pods:

Opening is a snap. I found the pods themselves to be easy to open. They have teardrop design, where you hold and bend the tip in its back away from you. You’ll know you’ve got it open when you hear a snap. Each toiletry pod comes in a set of two or three inside a packet, which I was fumbling with and ended up having to use scissors to open. So I would say to open the packet before you go and put the pods in your 3-1-1 clear bag. (Squeeze Pod states their pods are TSA friendly.)

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The pouring is easy. Like its namesake, you squeeze the package to get its contents out. I test moisturizing lotion and found it to be between not too light but not greasy. The oil-based citrus scent is nice; it’s noticeable upon applying but it’s not heavy and seems to gradually fade.

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Good for hotel stays. I can see Squeeze Pod working for certain types of travelers over others. Due to the pod packaging, which is not recyclable, I’m not sure if it would suit a backpacker due to what he/she might have access to rubbish bins for properly disposing of the used pod packaging. However, I definitely see it’s good for business traveler and of course the common goer with hotel or other set accommodations. Another neat item is that for every two Gimme Shelter kits purchased, a third goes to a charity that supports women and their families. Prices range from individual packs at $2.79 up to a 12-pack for $30.00 ($7 more for the odor eliminator) and specialty kits about $12.99.



CityPASS Giveaway

Every major U.S. destination has its share of iconic attractions worth visiting, which can require even the most savvy traveler to factor admission prices into their budget. However, there are money-saving solutions like discount cards or booklets such as CityPASS that can extend your sightseeing options while keeping some cash in our wallet.

Recently, I met with a CityPASS representative to learn more about their admission discount program. It works like this. CityPASS booklets feature admission coupons to top-rated museums and institutions in currently 12 North American major locations.

They include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, NYC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Southern California. Southern California’s CityPASS comes in a card format, while the others are all booklets.

However, every destination’s version contains admission tickets about four to six top ranking sites, with some of them being a choice between using it for one place or another. For example, in the New York CityPASS, there are tickets where you can opt to use them for either the Top of the Rock or Guggenheim Museum or either the 9/11 Memorial & Museum or the Intrepid. Once you start using the booklet, it becomes activated and validated for nine consecutive days (except for Southern California CityPASS, whose admission cards run for 14 days).

CityPASS might be suited particularly for first-time visitors or even families (there are kids and adult versions), but the perk is that CityPASS can be bought online or at your destination for the same cost. Plus it’s set up where you don’t have to wait at the usual ticket line to get inside.

CityPASS is letting me give away a pair of CityPASS booklets through my site. The only thing is that you have to do is tell me in the comments section below which of the CityPASS cities I listed do you want to visit and why (sorry, but Southern California CityPASS is not included). You’ll have until Friday, April 29, at midnight EST to do so. U.S./Canada residents only. Good luck! And keep checking back to see the results!

Disclaimer: CityPASS has partnered with me on this giveaway, but this post is based entirely on my opinions. (Thank you for entering. The winner has been chosen and notified.)



Westin Hotels & Resorts Introduces Sleep Well Menu


Here’s some news from my inbox…. Westin Hotels & Resorts has been busy promoting their “Well-Being Movement,” a new travel wellness brand, with a messaging campaign and a FitStar by FitBit partnership introducing a set of exercise programs at their properties worldwide. Its latest addition to this branding initiative takes an edible approach to getting a good night’s sleep.

Said to be available 24/7, the Westin Sleep Well Menu offers superfood options specially designed to promote rest and recovery. According to a press release from Westin, this specialty menu was designed to help guests “ease into sound slumber so that they can easily adjust to a new time zone, recover from a hectic day of travel or prepare for an active day ahead.” With input from SuperFoodsRx, the meals on this menu contain amino acids, vitamins, and minerals including magnesium, potassium, folate, serotonin, and thiamin to prevent insomnia and reset sleep cycles.

Choices include:

  • Grilled wild salmon with walnut quinoa;
  •  A micro chopped turkey salad;
  • Poached eggs on asparagus with snap peas and shitake mushrooms;
  • Oatmeal tabouleh, among others.

If guests prefer more of a bedtime snack, they can opt for whole grain crackers with peanut butter; non-fat yogurt with granola; edamame and whole wheat pretzels; or cherry walnut oat muffins. There’s tea too. Find herbals with a calming effect such lavender, peppermint, cinnamon, passionflower, lemon balm, ginger, chamomile or valerian root.

To celebrate their new Sleep Well menu, Westin Hotels & Resorts is giving away a five-night stay at any Westin hotel or resort, a Westin Heavenly® Bed, and other Westin items. Enter by April 30, 2016 by visiting this link.



EscapeMaker Opens Farm Escape Pop Up Shop



Have you heard of the term “agritourism”? Find out more by heading to South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan. EscapeMaker, a company that offers ideas for local and regional trips, has opened a pop-up shop promoting agri-tourism (travel inspired by working farms or other agricultural sties) now until April 24 inside the seaport’s historic Fulton Stall Market on 207A Front Street.

Presented by Amtrak, the EscapeMaker Pop Up Shop will be open to the public Thursdays and Fridays, from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors will find information for planning vacays that will get them out into countryside areas. Details will include ideas for farm escapes, wine and craft beer trails, apple picking locations, and local getaway packages.

Along with the shop, EscapeMaker will hold three Sunday tastings of various food and wine samples inside the market and onto Front Street. They are free and run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The schedule includes:

April 10th – Local Craft Beer, Cider & More
April 17th – Local Wine, Cheese & More
April 24th – Local Farms & Family Getaways

For more info, visit this link.