Ariana’s travel tips


  1. plan, plan, plan- I know some people like to fly by the seat of their pants and that is great but in some cases you need to plan. If you are not on a budget then you might have a little more room to play with this but if you are on a budget, as I always am, planning is your best friend. Also if you only have a limited amount of time planning ahead can save you hours of wasted time standing in line.
  2. research- Groupon is international if you didn’t know. For most places if you do a little research you can find inexpensive skip the line passes, semi-guided tours, activities and so much more at reduced costs and it definitely saves you on those hours in line.
    1. planning and research also help you squeeze in as much as possible in a short time period. For example we are packing Venice into a day and a half then on our last day in Venice which would have been a 3/4 day anyways we are instead taking the train and spending a few hours each in Verona, Florence and Pisa before laying our heads down in our AirBnB accommodations in Rome.
  3. Think outside the box when it comes to lodging- you don’t have to stay in a nice hotel to feel luxurious when traveling. If you once again research you can find nice places for a lot less expensive. I have stayed in some seriously nice hostels and and used AirBnB several times when I have travelled. If you are traveling with friends AirBnB is a great choice. We have accommodations in the heart of Venice, Rome and Barcelona through AirBnB that are less than $150/night,  whole apartment in each place, split the cost between everyone and you are looking at $20-30/night for each person in a nice place. and having and entire apartment means you have a kitchen so you can hit the market and make a few meals to save some money. You are still eating locally!!!
  4. Do a few things that aren’t overrun by tourists- on my first morning in Venice after some coffee and a pastry I plan on walking the opposite direction of the crowds and will continue to do this. That is how I will explore Venice, going the opposite direction of the crowds (obviously do a little research on places you should avoid and use common sense, if you turn down a street and it feels sketchy, backtrack quickly).
  5. Safety!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!- Be safe, research the places you are going, know the areas to avoid, know the laws and customs. Pay attention to the dress code. If something or someone doesn’t feel right get out of that situation and place ASAP. Think before you act. If you are alone, don’t get so drunk that you are impaired. That movie TAKEN with Liam Neeson is a fun thriller but it is also real, people are kidnapped and murdered every day, enjoy your vacation but be smart and be aware.
  6. common sense should see you through-if you wouldn’t do it at home don’t do it abroad. Again take 10 minutes and learn about the place that your are going, I would sunbath topless in Ibiza, I would cover all tattoos and most skin in the middle east, different place different experience.
  7. Check in. Give someone at least a vague itinerary of where you will be and when you will be there and when you will be home so someone will know if you don’t arrive. Try and check in at least ever 72 hours (I tend to check in at least once every 24 hours) you can find a free or very cheap internet café almost anywhere. And most cell phones have international coverage if you check. It will cost me $.55 every day to send 1 text message to my mom and get one back from her both acknowledging we know I am alive. $.55/day is not much to ensure piece of mind.
  8. Be a dork. Take selfies and make stupid faces and journal and take videos. Who cares what the people around you think, in 5, 10, 15 years you are going to be so glad you can look back on those memories.
  9. Be respectful. It may not be your culture, religion or favorite food but it is theirs. You wouldn’t want someone to bad mouth your way of life so don’t do that to anyone else. You don’t have to believe in it or even accept it but don’t be mean about it. Step to the side, quietly leave the church, discreetly bow out of the ceremony, say thank you and try the tiniest bite you can manage.
  10. lastly HAVE FUN!!!!! You may never be back, you may never experience something like this again so drink it all in. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way and truly live this experience.

Runner Safety tip #3-Summer running

Hi!!!!! It is starting to heat up here in Portland! The last 2 days have been in the 90s and we still show sun for a few more days (its a miracle!!!!)! With that it brings me to summer running. Each season presents its own pros and cons for running……except fall when its pretty much perfect all the time hahahaha, I am a little biased though as it is my favorite season.

Pros to summer running:

You don’t have to wear 15 layers that you want to start peeling off 10 minutes after you start.

Water fountains are actually turned on when you stop for a drink

Vitamin D

Natural tan


You cannot take enough close off to cool yourself down

Feel like you sweat 15X more


That is just a few for fun there are a million more, comment your favorite and least favorite things about summer running!

So, for the safety stuff.

Sunscreen is a must! I know we all want that beautiful golden tan, ok not everyone I know I don’t mind alabaster skin if it means no skin cancer. But when you are outside as much as we runners, hikers, swimmers, bikers and everything else are you need to take care of your skin. There are 3 major skin cancer types from sun exposure and the chances of getting them increase with sunburn so take care of yourself.

Hydration is key. When it is hotter we sweat a lot more. We lose water and lots of salt. If you don’t want to carry a water bottle plan your run near places that have water fountains or place you know you can run into and get water. Also remember if you are going to be out there for more than an hour you need more than just water, you need to replenish your electrolytes, mainly sodium and chloride. Take a gel or chew with you or mix a sports drink into your water bottle. For an hour or less I like 1/4 Gatorade to 3/4 water. The longer I am out the higher the Gatorade concentration gets and the more I bring gels. When hiking I love Cliff Blocks, tropical punch is my favorite flavor. Don’t let your salts get out of balance or you can literally drown yourself from the inside out.

Snakes!!!!!! I think this is dependent on where you are but snakes like to come out on roads and trails to sun themselves so be on the lookout and know what kind of snakes are in your area, especially the poisonous ones.

Allergies/allergic reactions if you have allergies keep a Benadryl or some other allergy medicine in your pocket (just 1-2 doses in a plastic bag) for emergencies. Also if you are allergic to bees or things like that plan accordingly when running, whether that means carting along an epi-pen or whatever. Just be prepared.

Heat stroke, this is a big one. If your core temperature gets above 104 degrees F or 40 degrees C. This requires immediate emergency treatment, not getting treated can cause brain, kidney, heart and muscles damage that may be irreversible and can even cause death. If you get too hot pour water over your head and sit in the shade. It is better to cut your run short or take a break in the middle than never be able to run again.

With all that, be safe and have fun out there!!!!!!

Runner safety tip #1

Right now it is cold, gray, and raining outside and the fore see able forecast is more rain. That being said it is rain and not snow, it may not feel like it but sping is just a month and a half away which means whether you are running outside right now or not more and more of us will be hitting the streets soon instead of our trusty treadmills. 

One really important thing is to keep your running routine varied. It is so easy to find a time and place that fit perfectly into your daily or weekly routine and stick with it. Don’t. Varry when you run and where you run. 

Not having variation in your routine makes you and your home vulnerable. 

You are vulnerable to stalkers (especially with so much of our lives on social media), kidnappers and sexual assults. 

Your home is more vulnerable to being broken into if someone knows you always go out for a run on a certain day and time and are gone a certain amount of time. 

I know it’s a pain but try and change it up now and then.

More runner safety tips coming soon!!!!