northeast

A Catskills Getaway with Zipcar and Scribner's Lodge

Hi guys!

A couple weeks back, I had the chance to head back to one of my favorite places in New York : Scribner’s Lodge. This time, I arrived with a little help from Zipcar, a car sharing company with hundreds of locations throughout the state.

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I’ve been a member of Zipcar for years now, since they are so easily accessible in the city. Becoming a member takes no time at all, and anyone age 21+ (18 if you’re a student!) can apply. You just pick a plan - there’s several to choose from, making it easy to tailor to your needs!, wait for your driver’s license to be verified, and then receive your Zipcard! The card itself is what will unlock the car for you. Reserving your vehicle is simple (can be done via the website or app), and the length of your reservation is entirely up to you. Need it for a few hours to run errands? No problem! Want it for the weekend? Whole day reservations (up to 7 days) are also available! We had our car for a few days, and with 180 miles included a day, there was ample opportunity for adventure.

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While Scribner’s Lodge is in itself a major draw (SO. MUCH. COZY), the surrounding area’s attractions are what always get me super excited to visit. Since we were heading up in prime ski season, I made sure to pack my skis (Zipcar has ski racks and multiple sized car options to go along with whatever your adventures might require!) for the trip.

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This time, we stayed in one of the the Scribner Suites, which felt more like an apartment than a room! Featuring a loft-like living room (with our own cozy fireplace), a huge patio overlooking Hunter mountain, a bedroom downstairs and another two beds upstairs, space to sprawl out was in no short supply (for any of you from the city, you’ll know how much that’s appreciated!). After a cozy night’s sleep, we called down to the Prospect to order from the amazing brunch menu available - tip : the pancakes are amazinggg. With full bellies and a quick change out of our pjs, we were ready to get out and explore.

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Scribner’s is situated in an amazing part of the Catskills, with Kaaterskill Falls, one of the areas most popular destinations, just a short drive away. We usually opt for the hike down to the fall’s base, but this time we mixed it up and explored the top of the falls. Visiting this place in the Winter is like seeing it again for the first time! In the opposite direction, lies the ski resort, Hunter mountain. I was so happy to get some runs in while I was here, and explore the brand new Hunter North terrain! A quick zip (both of these destinations are less than 15 minutes away in either direction, Hunter is about a mile down the road!) back to the lodge, and we decided to warm up a bit before roasting our s’mores.

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Once again, a couple days at Scribner’s left us rested and ready to get back to the hustle and bustle of the city. And with the help of Zipcar, getting there and back was easier than ever! If you’re interested in applying for a membership, head here. Zipcar currently has locations all across the U.S., as well as in major cities worldwide. Suffice it to say, road trips just got a little easier.

xo

J.

Ski (and après-ski) Days with Säpp

Hi guys!

It’s not often I get a chance to work with local companies, so when the Northeast-based birch water brand, Säpp, approached me, I knew I had to try it! Sourced right here in Upstate NY and Vermont, Säpp’s birch water is a hydrating and nutrient-rich alternative to other products currently on the market. The flavored options are organic juices and extracts, without the use sweeteners or "natural flavors". Also, all ingredients are non-GMO, naturally gluten-free, and vegan!

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Birch water has been historically popular in Europe for centuries (the founders drank it growing up), and bringing the practice of tapping birch trees here to the Northeast makes Säpp the first pure, U.S. sourced birch sap on the market. Bonus : the company plants trees as part of their mission! With all these warm fuzzy facts, I was hooked. I tried Säpp for the first time a couple months ago, and it’s now in my regular rotation for ski days! I almost always forget to stay properly hydrated on the slopes, and these slim, 12oz. bottles, fit perfectly inside my jacket pocket. Healthy hydration to go!

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Säpp currently produces three flavor options : Original (have you ever tried maple water? Birch water is similar, but much less sweet. The perfect option for water drinkers looking for just a little EXTRA flavor!), Strawberry Lavender with Chaga and Apple Ginger with Chaga. All three offer unique and refreshing hydration, without doubling down on the sweetness (in fact, Säpp has 3x less sugar than coconut water!).

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Have you guys tried Säpp before? If not, you can find all three flavors in stock at select Whole Foods! Would love to know which flavor becomes your favorite!

xo

J.

This post is in partnership with Säpp.

How I Travel on a Budget

Hey guys!

Before I became full-time freelance, one of the questions I was constantly asked is how could I afford to travel as often as I did?. I would get tons of comments along the lines of “I wish I could travel as much as you!”, and truthfully, it wasn’t that long ago that I would browse through friends and strangers feeds alike and have my own serious case of FOMO. The first step to any adventure is, of course, to just GO. When I was just starting out, (and to this day!) sometimes the adventures would be on a small scale, and only as far as a tank of gas could carry me. Others, like my five week road trip last summer, required a bit more planning. So first off:

Plan Out Your Route in Advance

I know this takes away from the fun, spontaneous aspects of a trip, but having a rough itinerary is the easiest way to rid some unnecessary stress. This is especially important if you’re traveling with a group! Each person should share a list of places they’d most like to visit, and together, you can start to draft together a route to hit as much as possible with your timeline. Last year, my friend introduced me to the site, Furkot, which allows multiple people to add and edit locations to a road trip! Obviously, things happen, and you won’t be able to get to everything, but having that initial itinerary can save from some backtracking (and gas money) down the line. This also opens up opportunities to find sleeping arrangements, food, etc. Which brings me to:

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Car Camping is Free

In the warmer months, long-term travel becomes a lot easier for me, because sleeping arrangements are a lot easier! Last summer, two of my five weeks on the road consisted of car camping. I had a tent with me, too, for the days I’d be with another person, or in a national park. For over a month of summer travel, I spent less than $300 on sleeping arrangements. Sites like Hipcamp are great, if you’re looking for campsites in the U.S.! For travel outside the U.S., look into local hostels or hut systems (if you plan on hiking!). To keep my sanity, I made sure to have a non-camp place to sleep at least once a week. It gave me a chance to recharge my batteries - literally - and have some personal space to sprawl out (which is super important, no matter the length of a trip!). Camping also makes it easier to meal plan and save on food. Eating out - especially in touristy areas - can be super pricey, so traveling with a Jetboil and some non-parishables (like soup and pasta), brought my food budget way down.

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Sign Up for Airfare Alerts

If you’re heading out a bit further than your car can take you, obviously the farther out you book your airfare, the cheaper it will be. I take advantage of email blasts for some of my preferred airlines. Every now and then, they’ll have specials going on during periods of time. Two sites I use fairly often for flights are Scott’s Cheap Flights and Skiplagged.

Give Yourself a Weekly Allowance

Once you’re out on your adventure, it’s important to have a little in your budget for SOME spending money. I gave myself a $20 spending cap every week for non essentials. Having that dollar amount in mind can save you from overspending in the moment. So allow yourself to get that cup of coffee, but hold off on that overpriced magnet. Everything in moderation!

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Not every trip has to be on a Grand Scale

Living in Brooklyn, there isn’t a TON of nature in the immediate vicinity. However, upstate New York is home to two pretty remarkable mountain ranges. Traveling wise, sometimes the best adventures can be within your own state! Check out parks, national monuments, and national parks that could just be a day’s drive away. Personally, some of my favorite adventures have been right here in the Northeast. A round-trip train or bus ride upstate from the city will in most cases cost you less than $100, with endless destinations just a few hours away.

I hope these few tips help you to plan and budget for your next trip! After January, I’m getting back out on the road, and couldn’t be happier to spend time on some long stretches of highway.

xo

J.