Thursday, December 29, 2011

AND THE WINNER IS...

Again, I really want to thank you all for participating in the 12 days of Christmas giveaway!!! If you weren't a winner this time, no worries I really plan on doing something like this every few months ;-) So without further ado, the winners are:

Ghilly - a fun passport holder!!!!!

Andrianna- a year subscription to Travel + Leisure magazine!!!

Jason Blankenship - a one-time pass to Continental/United's Skylounge!!!!

Email me your contact info/address and allow 3-4 weeks for your prize ;-)


On another note, I'm super excited about 2012...with a few 30th bday celebrations, a ton of weddings/bachelorette parties and the annual trip HAVE TOs (carnival, bday, etc.) I'll be up in the air quite a bit!! So look out for lots of trip recaps, reviews, guest blogs and giveaways!!

See ya in the New Year!

P.S I love getting your feedback, so don't be shy and drop a line if there is anything you want me to post about ;-)



Saturday, December 24, 2011

ONE...

Finaaaallllyyy Christmas Eve is here!!! I'm proud to say, this year I finished all my shopping early {as in last Thursday} and I've wrapped and labeled all gifts...woot! In the event that you are still in the streets searching for that lasssssttttt gift...here's an idea.

1. Custom Travel Kit: I never leave home without my travel kit...just a small little case that includes the essentials:

- Mini toothbrush/toothpaste/gum-lose the rum breath before landing
-Blotting sheets- make sure you hit that Tzone
- Perfume- Sephora has loads of your favorite perfumes in mini sizes
-Deodorant - need I say more here
- Lotion- cabin air can be wicked to the skin...hit the elbows, knees and knuckles

Net net, throw in whatever you need to prepare in those 30 minutes before landing..you'll love having that fresh feel upon arrival ; -)




Thanks to all of you that joined TheGlamtrak and commented over the 12 days of Christmas! I'll be announcing 3 lucky winners in the next few days!!!!

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

TWO...

 Sign up to follow TheGlamtrak (click the join this site button) or leave a comment! 


2. Bits & Bobs: Ok these two items aren't the sexiest, but they will come through in a pinch:

a) Luggage scale - I really don't want you to be that guy or girl at the check in counter desperately trying to repack your bag. You've seen it... clothes flying, lots of sweat and over stuffing that teeny tiny carry on...all in the name of not paying the overweight fee. Do yourself a favor and weigh before you leave home ;-)



b) Adapter kit: It took me too long and too many blown up flat irons to learn having the right adapter is as important as having your passport. If you don't want to look like a poodle or kill your beloved iPhone make sure you always have one of these guys on hand when travelling internationally.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

THREE..

Only 3 more days to enter!!! Sign up to follow TheGlamtrak (click the join this site button) or leave a comment! 

3. Travel Lit: If you can't get away right now, try escapism through books! Eat Pray Love is a personal fave and I promise it will have you ready to pack your bags and take a solo trip through Italy, India and Indonesia...*still packing my bags* Frommers and Lonely Planet have tons of books that are great resources when planning a trip. For the collector, I recommend Louis Vuitton's 2012 City Guide Collection....I know, I know I always get caught up lol, a girl can dream!






Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

FOUR...

We all know that airlines have cut back significantly...so much so that you can barely get a pillow or a blanket on board. Oh and when you do its pretty "refurbished" and gross, right!?!?


4. Travel blanket/pillow: Pack your own! I know it's one more thing to lug with you, but for those 3+ hour flights and with little control over the cabin temperature...it's totally worth it!! The travel pillow is your best friend when it comes to sitting in a middle seat and having no window to lean on...we've all been there ;-)



Don't forget to enter the 12 days of Christmas giveaway by signing up to follow TheGlamtrak (click the join this site button) or by leaving a comment! 



Monday, December 19, 2011

FIVE...

After second hand embarrassment kicked in on a recent vacation, my friend decided to upgrade her hubz this Christmas from this:

to this:





5. Camcorder: For about $75+, you too can upgrade that special someone from the 20lb dinosaur to a more sleek camcorder. I LOVE FlipVideo (although I'm not 100% positive they're still manufacturing), Flip is definitely not for the budding Spielberg...since it only records up to an hour, but perfect for capturing soundbites. Sony's Bloggie camcorders are another great option, offering up to 4 hours of recording time aaannnddd self recording. *thank me later*



Don't forget to enter the 12 days of Christmas giveaway by signing up to follow TheGlamtrak (click the join this site button) or by leaving a comment! 




Sunday, December 18, 2011

SIX...

Aaahhhhh we're half way there....don't forget to enter the 12 days of Christmas giveaway by signing up to follow TheGlamtrak (click the join this site button) or by leaving a comment! 

6. Digital picture frame/custom photo book: If you haven't noticed, traditional photo albums are pretty much extinct. So lets help your person keep up with the times by making sure they have a digital frame. I promise it's super easy to upload to the frames and makes for a great focal point in any room! If you happen to have access to your friend's photos, aka "save as" from Facebook, creating a custom photo book will not only be easy, but will surely gain the title "BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER" ! I know this because I'm the queen of custom photo books/calendars...ask Shutterfly ;-)




Saturday, December 17, 2011

SEVEN...

Today's gift is perfect for the international flyer! You know how the airlines urge you to arrive 3 hours before your flight!? So after you check in... you either sleep, spend too much 'trip money' on overpriced drinks or worst ...wage in a care bear stare off with the Dbag that is charging his computer, phone, iPod and his electric shaver on the ONE charging station. If you or your frequent flyer has experienced this please read on....
Source: MSNBC
7. Airline lounge access: The sweet price to permanently escape the insanity of the terminal can be steep. An annual membership is about $450 on average. Don't run yet...you don't have to get the annual membership ...you can pay per visit!!!! Por ejemplo, a one time visit to United/Continental's club is only $39....totally worth the UNLIMITED adult beverages, snacks and WiFi you'll put away in that 3 hour wait. If you do want to spring for the annual membership, Delta offers a payment plan of 40 bucks a month....not too bad. I mean that's just giving up one happy hour a month!





Don't forget to enter the 12 days of Christmas giveaway by signing up to follow TheGlamtrak or by leaving a comment!


Friday, December 16, 2011

EIGHT...

You remember what I said about how important your luggage game is, right?!

8. Luggage: Most department stores have amazing sales on sets around the holidays, but please don't sleep on the T.J.Maxx/Ross/Marshalls of the world because I've definitely spotted some great finds there. Understanding that buying luggage can be a big undertaking, start slow with a classic black Pullman (orrrr that fieeeerrrceee white set below) or something funky like a bright fun travel tote.



Don't forget to enter the 12 days of Christmas giveaway by signing up to follow TheGlamtrak or by leaving a comment!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

NINE...

 Perfect stocking stuffer for him or her:

9. Passport Holder: You have to get a "jacket" to keep that precious passport warm. I'm definitely guilty of not putting outerwear on my passport, but after perusing Etsy, I'm looking to get one soon *drops hint not so subtly* ;-)




Don't forget to enter the 12 days of Christmas giveaway by signing up to follow TheGlamtrak or by leaving a comment!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DIEZ...

What better gift than to give the gift of travel...

10) Airline miles/gift cards- Yup, you can absolutely gift a few of those miles you've earned from using  maxing out your credit card this year. Now if you haven't signed up for a miles program as YET (shame on you ,please do so NOW), you can always give the gift of travel via airline gift cards. Every mile/dollar helps!!!



Don't forget to enter the 12 days of Christmas giveaway by signing up to follow TheGlamtrak or by leaving a comment!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ELEVEN...

Hiya! Here's an easy last minute buy:

11. Travel magazine subscription: For about  $20 can you can give (or keep) the gift of a monthly travel magazine. I personally look to Travel + Leisure  and Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel for all the latest on travel trends and hot spots. Trust me when I say these mags are the best resources, I've recently started a card catalog to keep up with my collection because I REFUSE to ditch them. P.S - Most of these subscriptions come with free digital extensions, so if you did purchase that iPad you not only get the print version you get the digital version for free ;-)



Don't forget to sign up or leave a comment...

Monday, December 12, 2011

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS...

So the big holiday is upon us and if you're anything like me you're probably still scrambling to get gifts! Over the next 12 days, I'll be giving you some gift ideas for the traveler in your life (or for you...I mean duhhhh you're on Santa's good list too,right?!?!). The BEST part is...I'm giving away THREE (3) of the items  *in my Oprah's Favorite Things voice*!!!! How do you qualify, you ask!??!
Two ways:
 1) Sign up as a follower of TheGlamtrak...that little section over there---->
 2) If you're already a follower leave a comment on any of the posts.

I'll randomly select 3 winners at the end of the holiday season and send your gift shortly after *this giveaway is inclusive to international followers woooohooo*

12. eReader/iPad : This has got to be the BEST thing I've ever purchased for myself!!! I got my iPad as an early birthday gift this Summer and I'm still loving her like the day she was delivered. I swear, I barely remember life pre-iPad. Countless hours of iBooks, Skyping, blogging, Tweeting, random research...she's just the best travel companion weighing in at 1.3lbs. You're probably thinking "WTH Kay an iPad is wayyyyy out of my Christmas budget" I completely understand...I mean 'tis the season for giving NOT'tis the season for begging, stealing, or selling platelets to purchase an iPad. A great alternative is the Kindle, with options between $79 and $199, you're bound to find something perfect in the Kindle family. Point is, I minimally expect you to start a savings for one of these bad boys...it's a travel must in 2012 ;-)



Don't forget to sign up or leave a comment...let me just go ahead and put it out there none of my giveaways include a Kindle, Nook or iPad....sorry maybe next year once the advertising dollars start rolling in ;-)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

STAYCATIONS...

Ok so let's just act like I didn't take a raging hiatus from TheGlamtrak. *sigggghhhh* It's been crazy at my "grown up" job, so it should come as now surprise that I've been itching (like a flea infested dog) for a getaway. Obvi with the holidays around the corner and my new attempt at being a fiscally responsible adult, hopping on a plane to somewhere far was out of the question. So what does a girl do when an early on set of S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder) sets in....said girl takes a STAYCATION!!!! Oh and I'm not talking about the "I'm going to stay in my house, order Chinese and catch up on my DVR" type of a staycation because that would just be a snorefest. I mean the "tourist in my town" type of staycation. In planning my staycation, budget was key so I took advantage of the groupons/living social/Scoutmobs of the world and it soooo paid off! 

Groupon seems to ALWAYS have spa deals, so I was super stoked to kick start my weekend with a deep tissue massage at Spa Sydell! ($29 on Groupon) Post massage, I checked into The Georgian Terrace ($120 on hotels.com regularly $200+ woop!). For you non ATLiens, The Georgian Terrace is an Atlanta landmark in the Fox Theater Historic District. This hotel is in my favorite part of Midtown, and it's just gawwwwjuuusss dahlin...the perfect backdrop for my weekend. As for the gastronomics...that was the easy part...Scoutmob! The beauty in Scotmob is you can try out a few new restaurants without committing to the full price...most spots are at least 50% off, with a few offering apps/sides for FREE! My weekend was awesome, I caught up on some well needed sleep, did a little museum hopping, spent time with some of my favorite people and indulged in lots of yummy food. Below I've listed some tips for you to plan your perfect staycation:
  • Put on your thinking cap: think about your trip as if you were planning it for an out of towner...where would you tell them they haddddd to go or haddddd to eat? Take your own advice :-)
  • Sign up for the local deals: without getting into SPAM hell, I suggest signing up/downloading Groupon/Living Social/Scoutmob...
  • Check out local attractions: how many of us (post school field trips) still take in our city's touristy spots...more than likely there's a resident discount...so don't forget to ask.
  • Take your camera: Just because you didn't cross a border doesn't mean you won't capture some sweet memories...



Hope that helped ;-) Feel free to email me kay@theglamtrak or tweet me at @theglamtrak for any staycation or general travel questions!

P.S- Stay tuned this month for some great giveaways I have planned!!!!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

THE NEW YORK NATIVE, NADJAWA McCOY

I'm sooo excited to introduce this new feature called "The Native" to TheGlamtrak!!! This series will give you the need to know on some of the hottest cities. The source you ask?! None other than some of my closest friends who I consider experts in everything from food to fashion to travel!

First up for the inaugural post is New York native(and one of my fave gal pals), Nadjawa McCoy (@Nadjawa). I met Naj, while living in the Concrete Jungle and let me just say...to know her is to LOVE her!!! Without further ado, dive in for Naj's NY picks...


LOCAL ATTRACTIONS


The Cloisters (Metropolitan Museum of Art):http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/visit-the-cloisters/
(Washington Heights)
I can't say enough about this architectural dynamo. The Cloisters museum and gardens is a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. It was even assembled from architectural elements that date back to the 12th century.
Tip! Plan a day trip - this behemoth of a museum is a way uptown in Fort Tryon Park.

The Brooklyn Museum: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/
(Flatbush)
A digestible and well - curated exhibit always fills the meandering halls of this hipster magnet, and it boasts one of the best collections of Egyptian art.
Photo Op! On a hot night, take a run through the fountains that adorn the front entrance.

Strawberry Fields: http://www.centralpark.com/guide/attractions/strawberry-fields.html
(Central Park)
The teardrop shaped area of Central Park is a tribute to the late John Lennon and is a peaceful retreat from the bustle.
Photo Op! From the right angle, the Imagine Mosaic makes a great backdrop in the garden of peace.

FAO Shwartz: http://www.fao.com/home/index.jsp
(Midtown)
Step foot in this dreamland and you're instantly taken back to your childhood. Actually- a far better childhood than you could imagine. Sure it's a tourist trap, but there's a reason so many people find this place amazing.
Tip! Avoid weekends and the holiday season when the store tends to be a zoo.

MUST EATS
Vegetarians beware, this list is for meat lovers and their carnivorous compadres.


Traif: http://traifny.com/
(Williamsburg)
I'm a sucker for any eatery with pig silhouette signage, particularly if they prep my plate with bacon broth. Bonus points for the friendly waitstaff and equally yummy brunch menu.
Top pork picks: Strawberry-cinnamon glazed baby back pork ribs, Bacon doughnuts

Qi Asian Eatery: http://www.qirestaurant.com/
(Flatiron)
Intricate decor, inspired drink menu and amazing food. Great for an intimate dinner that won't break the bank. If you find yourself on an empty tank around lunch time, they have unbeatable specials.
Choices for your chop sticks: Rolling noodles, shrimp and chicken dumplings

Mexicue: http://mexicue/com/index.html
(Lower East Side, Midtown)
Who says you can't have the best of both worlds? Mexican/BBQ fusion makes for savory spicy deliciousness.
Feeling froggy tip: Check out the web site for their current food truck location or submit  a recipe to their recipe contest using the seasonal ingredient.

Essex Restaurant: http://www.essexnyc.com/
(Lower East Side)
New York is known for its brunch scene and Essex has got it down. Natural sunlight drenches the loft-style space and if that doesn't lift your spirits, the mimosas will. The waitstaff is always sure to keep your glass full even if you just inhaled your third included cocktail.
Tips to not looking like a Tourist: This place can be sceney, so make sure you have a reservation. Speak quickly, the bartenders and hostesses tend to be snappy. Avoid holiday weekends when the prix fixe prices skyrocket.


NIGHTLIFE


The Griffin http://thegriffinny.com/
(Meatpacking District)
Chic and upscale, don't dare approach the door without the appropriate attire (tiny designer dress) or accessory (hot girl wearing tiny designer dress). Inside prepare for an eye full of delight:19th century decor and some of NY's sexiest singles.
"I'm with them" Tip: The piano room in the back is super tough to gain entry to without VIP status, but it's worth a shot, the room is in a word - incredible.

Brooklyn Bowl http://www.brooklynbowl.com/event/61701/
(Williamsburg)
Sometimes you want to just dance. If you're in no mood to sweet talk bouncers, or empty your wallet purchasing watery drinks, try Brooklyn Bowl for an awesome beer selection and great music for cheap entry.
Tip! : The Bowl Train every Thursday is a night hosted by DJ Questlove of the Roots and is a guaranteed good time.

Cafeteria: http://www.cafeteriagroup.com/
(Chelsea)
The place to be seen at 5am donning smeared mascara and resting your tootsies after a night of dancing. Only in New York is there a velvet rope for a restaurant with attractive people wall to wall. This place has awesome cosmopolitans and some of the best mac and cheese around.
Tip! : Cafeteria is 24/7, so for good food without the line try a week day evening.

Bar 89: www.bar89.com
(Soho)
If you're looking for a nice place to go grab a drink with ambiance, try this attractive yet intimate establishment.
Tip! : This is going to sound crazy, but you have to see the bathroom.

SHOPPING


Cheap Jacks Vintage Shop http://www.cheapjacks.com/
(Nolita)
Where do wardrobe specialists snag amazing finds? The largest vintage shop on the East Coast. Looking for a vintage Fendi bag for under $300? Cheap Jack's is the place for you.
Tip! : Don't be fooled by the amateur website. Cheap Jacks is the real deal.

Brooklyn Flea http://www.brooklynflea.com/
(Williamsburg)
A favorite of the Native New Yorker, the Flea features hundreds of top vendors of antiques and furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles, as well as jewelry, arts, and crafts by local artisans and designers, plus delicious fresh food and beer.
Tip! : Get the lobster roll, a steal at $12 - for 100% real lobster.

The Streets of SoHo http://www.sohonyc.com/
(SoHo)
This isn't your grandmother's alleyway Gucci bag deal. Besides being an architectural beauty, SoHo has some of the best street finds in the city. The vendors aren't offering gold watches from suitcases- they're selling handmade jewelry, artwork all incredibly unique and on trend. Where else will you find a street vendor prominently displaying their placements from magazines like SELF and Lucky?
Tip! : SoHo is made for wandering. Take in the sights while you shop.






Be sure to leave a comment if you're just dying to add to the list!

 
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