Women’s Travel Fest Schedule

The Women’s Travel Fest in New Orleans is quickly approaching and in case you are considering going but are unsure what the event has to offer, I have included a schedule for you below.

Women’s Travel Fest Schedule 2017
Date: Friday, March 3
Time: 6:00p – 9:00p
Location: House of Blues Foundation Room
Event Type: Networking
This pre-party gathering will allow attendees to get to meet and know each other.

Date: Saturday, March 4
Time: 10:00a – 6:00p
Location: Jazz Market
Event Type: Festival Main Day
During this day, guests will be able to enjoy the offerings of various vendors, keynote speakers, network, and find out more about travelling.

This day includes a welcome from the Women’s Travel Fest founder, Kelly Lewis, keynote speakers including Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie, Courtney Scott, Nneya Richards, and much more.

Keynote topics of the day include:

  • Travel Hacking 101: How to Travel for Free -Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie
  • Our Biggest Travel Mistakes (and What We Learned From them) -Megan Elieen McDonough/Courtney Scott
  • What I learned From Every Country In the World – Cassie de Pecol
  • Play With the World: Your Dreams Matter with Shannon Kaiser – Shannon Kaiser
  • How I Built a Business in Travel – Mickela Mallozzi/Deidre Mathis/Gillian Morris/Daria Rebenok
  • Travel + Your Love Life – Mickela Mallozzi/Nneya Richards

The main day of the festival will close with a networking after party!

Date: Sunday, March 5
Time: 9:00a – 2:00p
Location: Jazz Market
Event Type: Festival Closing Day  

The day will begin with another warm welcome by founder, Kelly Lewis, followed by more exciting and informative keynote speakers including Pauline Frommer, Alyssa Ramos, Sarah Dodd, and much more!

Keynote topics of the day include:

  • See More, Spend Less: Planning Your Next Vacation With Pauline – Pauline Frommer
  • Traveling as an American Woman Today – Kelly Lewis/Nneya Richards
  • How to Be a Snapchat Influencer – Cailin O’ Neil
  • Travel Writing: Getting an Editor’s Attention – Marcia DeSanctis/Lavina Spalding
  • How to Be A One-Woman Camera Crew-Juliana Broste
  • How to Kill it on Instagram – Alyssa Ramos
  • Our Favorite Travel Gear- Courtney Scott
  • From 1 to 1 Million: A  Q&A with Scott Eddy- Scott Eddy

To see more information about the keynote speakers, topics, sponsors, and exhibitions, visit womenstravelfest.com.

2017 Women’s Travel Fest

Yes, it’s about that time! The Women’s Travel Fest is among us and you need to be there!

What is the Women’s Travel Fest?

In 2011, Women’s Travel Fest Founder, Kelly Lewis, was on location in Thailand for a press trip along with colleague, Jerri Stephenson of Do It While You’re Young. At the time, Lewis was connecting with a publication known as Go! Girl Guides, which continuously publishes travel guidebooks specifically for women.
At that time both women came together and contemplated why a festival of such caliber had not been created before. However, it wasn’t until 2013, when Kelly Lewis had successfully completed a cross-country book tour, when the idea for a Women’s Festival began to come together.

During her time on tour, Lewis began to build a network with women of all ages -ranging from as young as 12 to the age of 82, who shared a common interest of travel safety. After the tour was completed, Kelly Lewis move to New York City and connected with Masha Vapnitchnaia and Mickela Mallozzi. The three women came together and decided it was time for women to have their travel questions, concerns, and hopes addressed on a larger scale. Thus, Women’s Travel Fest was born.

Why Women’s Travel Fest?

Women’s Travel Fest offer a global sisterhood for women with a love of traveling and who wish to network with other women who share the same passion and celebratory nature for adventure.  


Tips for Planning Your Holiday Road Trip

That special time of year has come again: time to pack your bags and embark on a holiday road trip. Planning a road trip is no easy task. It would be ideal to just hop on a plane and go but as we all know, plane tickets become increasingly expensive around the holiday season. However, as inexpensive as it may be, going on a road trip is not always easy. Here are a few tips to help lighten your road trip load.

A proper budget is quite possibly the most essential part of your planning your road trip. Without a well thought out budget, you might find yourself in precarious situations that could have otherwise been avoided. The top three things your budget must include are gas, food, and lodging.


It is important that you make sure you begin your road trip with a full gas tank. Look around and make sure you are getting your gas for the best price possible.

Depending on how far away your destination is from your starting point, you will inevitably need to stop to refill your tank. Be sure not to underestimate the price of gas in other areas. You will find that some places will have higher gas prices than others, so budget accordingly.


Many travelers will tell you that one of the best parts of a road trip is the opportunity to try new delicious foods. Just make sure you don’t blow your budget on food alone.

Try your best to pack as many snacks and as much food (you can also use a small or medium size cooler) as you can. Popular foods that many travelers pack for road trips include, but are not limited to:

  • Breakfats or protein bars
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Lunch meats
  • Sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly or lunch meats and cheese with mustard)
  • Trail mix and/or nuts


It is expected you will have already secured a place to stay once you reach your destination. However, depending on the distance between your starting point and destination, you may find that you are too tired to execute your journey without stopping to rest.

Research hotels or motels that that fit your budget and that are easily accessed during your drive. Take advantage of sites like Expedia and Airbnb – sites that can help you find the best place to rest within your means.  

Personal Finance: Buying Your First Car

Whenever an individual is looking to buy a car for the first time, they will need to make sure that they get a fair price for the car they wish to purchase. During the car buying process, individuals will need to negotiate the price of a new car with the dealership. While this may seem intimidating, consumers who follow a few steps will help ensure that they get the best deal possible.

In order to negotiate with car dealerships in terms of price, it will be important to show them the price according to the manufacturer and tell them about the financing you have in place. It will also be vital that you tell them the exact features that you want as well as telling them about prices offered by other dealerships. Following these steps will help you get the ideal price of the car you want to buy and avoid getting ripped off.

The first thing you will want to do when negotiating a car price is to reveal the price of the new car according to the manufacturer. Each vehicle has a number of models that are offered at a specific price. It will be in your best interest to get this information and then tell the dealership that this is the amount you are willing to pay. For example, if a Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle is offered at $35,000 according to the manufacturer and the local dealership offers it of $40,000, then you will want to offer $35,000. If they refuse, then move on to another dealer who will be more accommodating.

Another thing you will want to do when negotiating the price of a car is tell the dealership about the financing you have in place. If you have a loan check from a bank or credit union that is of market value for a particular vehicle, then this will help you convince the dealership to sell the car to you. Since a dealership is looking to make a sale, you will have considerable amount of bargaining power if you have the full amount for a vehicle on hand once you arrive at the dealership.

When looking to buy a new car and negotiate the price, you will benefit by telling the salesman about the features you want or don’t want. In many cases, dealerships offer vehicles at high prices due to the features added on. However, you may not want these extra features and will need to request a vehicle that doesn’t include them. Therefore, you will need to tell them you want the particular make and model of your specifications so that you can save money.

The last step in the car price negotiation process is to reveal prices of the vehicle you want offered by other dealerships. There may be times when dealerships may offer prices that are lower than what another dealership offers. As a result, you will want to tell the dealership that you are visiting that other dealers in the area are offering the same vehicle for $3000 less. Therefore, you will be in good position to get the car you want at a fair and reasonable price.



The Summer season is almost coming to an end but that doesn’t mean you’re traveling and adventure has to to come to an end as well. If you’re in search of a getaway that is near the beach but still has plenty to offer on land, you should consider heading to North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Below you can find some fun locations that offer plenty to do on the outer banks:


The Wright Brothers National Memorial is located in Kill Devil Hills, NC and celebrates the milestone achievements of the first powered, sustained, extraordinary flight. This location is home to a small museum where interactive exhibits referencing the Wright brothers and replica glider planes are open to visitors.

Visitors can also climb Big Kill Devil Hill where a plaque resides that marks the location where the Wright brothers first plane landed.


Cape Hatteras Lighthouse  is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and is located in the town of Buxton. There are more than a dozen lighthouses located in North Carolina but the seemingly most historic one  happens to be the seaside guardian at Cape Hatteras.

Anyone who would like to visit the seaside guardian need only sign up for a tour. Once a month, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse offers full moon tours for $8.


Jockey’s Ridge State Park  offers impressive views and sledding on the sand dunes. These dunes are perfect for sledding as the sand dunes around the Outer Banks reach their highest point at Jockey’s Ridge.

If you’d like to enjoy a carefree sled on your boogie board or a flat piece of cardboard, head on over to Nags Head and take a ride!


Tips for Women Traveling Solo in Brazil During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio

woman travelling solo

I love absolutely love traveling! There are very few things in life better than being able to take a road trip or hop on a plane to a new location with the intention of gaining new experiences. Food, culture, and language are some amongst some of the many things you will be exposed to and you are guaranteed to make memories that will last a lifetime.

A popular location for many to travel to next month is Brazil. You may be asking yourself, ‘why Brazil?’. Here’s why: The 2016 Summer Olympic games.

This year the games will be hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and with over 11,000 participants and over 5 million tickets sold for the events, let’s just say there will be a lot of people traveling to and around Rio in the coming weeks.  

As always, you should do your research before traveling to any foreign country, especially those with a high rate of violence in cities such a Rio de Janeiro. With that being said, this in no way means that you will not be able to enjoy yourself and have a safe trip.

Here are a couple tips, specifically for women, regarding transportation and money while traveling solo during the Rio 2016.

Public Transportation:

Similar to many cities, public transportation is the most efficient way to travel around the city. However, travellers must be cautious when traveling during late evening hours. On weekdays, Sunday through Friday, the subway closes at midnight and on Saturdays the subway closes at 1a.m.

Should you opt to take the train or bus during evening or late night hours, be sure that you are not doing so alone. Although I have not heard of many incidences occurring regularly, you still want ensure you will get to and from your destinations safely.

When researching transportation options in Brazil, I learned that cabs are also a safe and efficient method to travel from point A to point B. The downside is that there may be a communication barrier between passengers and the driver unless you are well-versed in Portuguese. It might be helpful to write your destination on a piece of paper so you can show the driver where you would like to go.

Something else to you should be aware of is that very few cabs in Brazil accept payment in the form of debit or credit card so it would be ideal to have cash on hand and ask the driver for the rate of your ride prior to arriving at your destination. Apps like Uber are always great to have in situations like this when travelling.  

Although many cabs will not accept debit or credit as form of payment, many -in fact almost every restaurant, hotel, or shop will. There is no need to have a huge wad of cash on you during trip.

Regardless of how much money or how many cards you are carrying, be sure that the bag you are holding them in is tightly secured and keep it in front of you, in your line of vision at all times. Try your best to remove money from your purse tactfully before and after making purchases.  

Tips for Becoming a Successful Professional


Regardless of your age, what you have accomplished professionally, or where you come from, we all have a desire to be prosperous.

Some of us decide upon a career path and work our way up the ladder and others decide to work for themselves and become entrepreneurs. No matter which path you choose. No matter which path you choose, there are a some attributes you should take into consideration in order to find success.

Below you can find a few helpful tips to assist you in becoming successful regardless of the path you choose.


Find your passion and devote yourself

Following your passion is not always easy. In fact, there is only one thing more difficult than following your passion -finding it.

Finding your passion takes effort and time. You will try and fail many times but you must be sure to never give up. If you have a true passion for whatever it is you are doing, you won’t want to give up.


Candor is defined as “the state or quality of being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression.” Being candid at all times will make you invaluable to colleagues, employees, investors, and partners. If people feel they can trust your word, you are more likely to find success in your chosen field.

Be amiable

We’ve all had to work with someone who wasn’t…well…as friendly as we would like them to be. Having a pleasant disposition makes it easier for you to seem approachable to others and make them more willing to work with you.


woman travel

Recently, there has been an increase in solo female travelers. Women are daring to go where they have never been before and they are doing it alone. As invigorating and adventurous as this may be, we must keep in mind that safety is a number one concern.

While any solo traveller, regardless of gender, may face dangerous situations, women who are traveling alone are more likely to be affected than men.  The popular website, BuzzFeed, took the time to ask a few women about what they do to feel safe while abroad. Below you can find a few of the tips they gathered.

Travel Tips:

When using sites like Expedia, TripAdvisor, and Hostelz, it’s important that you research and find reviews as well as pictures posted by people who have actually stayed in the hotel and have spent time in the area.

Someone back home, whether it be a parent, spouse, or a friend should have a copy of your itinerary. This way,  someone who know you will have an idea of your whereabouts  during your trip.

DropBox Documents
How many times have you heard stories of someone losing their ID, passport, ticket numbers, phone, etc.? Losing any item of identification can be dangerous especially if you are traveling internationally. Scanning or taking a photograph of your important documents and placing them in locked site like Dropbox or something similar will help you in the long run.

U.S. Department of State
Register with the U.S. Department of State’s and download their app, Smart Traveler. Doing so will keep you informed when you about the country you’re in as well as your homeland.

International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers
Registering with the International Associations for Medical Assistance  (IAMAT)will assist you with locating medical clinics approved by doctors who speak English.

International phone plan
Depending on how long you will be traveling internationally, you may or may not want to invest in an international phone plan. If you choose not to purchase a full plan, you can also buy a few phone cards for your trip.

Travel insurance.
The cost of Travel insurance varies. However, it would be wise to purchase some, especially if you’re traveling alone. Your insurance will cover most of or all of any unexpected costs. This includes medical and dental emergencies, as well as reimbursement for lost baggage, trip cancellations, or delays, rental car damage, and much more.

Stash Your Cash
It’s always a good idea to keep a few dollars and a credit or debit card on you at all times. You should also keep some stashed in your purse/bag and in your hotel room. A few unsuspecting places to keep your money are the bottom of a tampon, pad box, or empty shampoo bottles,

Charger, charger, charger
Your phone will probably be the item you use the most on your trip. It is important to remember to pack your charger, and extra battery if possible.

Snap a quick photo of the cab before you hop in. This is not only for your safety but it will also help you track the car down if you happen to leave something in it. Once you get in (or begin walking to your destination) the cab say something like, “alright, I’ll be there soon” or “in 10-15 minutes”. This will make the driver or those around you believe you are meeting up with someone.

Fake it til’ you make it.
It is recommended by U.S. State Department that single women traveling in the Middle East should wear a wedding ring. Try to research the location you are visiting and see what is customary for solo female travelers to do there.


Hotel Tips:

Keep your keys
Hotels always provide you with 2 keys. Keep one key on you (on your pants or coat pocket) and the other in your bag.

Do not disturb
Whether you are in the room or not, leave the “do not disturb” sign on the door and leave your tv on. Thieves will not want to risk breaking into your room if they think someone is inside. If you happen to order room service, do not fully open the door. And should someone ask if you are alone, say the other person stepped out for a minute and will be “right back”.


For more tips and information on being a solo female traveler, visit BuzzFeed.com


March Travel Destinations

march travel

Am I the only one constantly confused by all the department store advertisements for spring attire or swimsuits? I mean, it is still very much winter outside. The temperature keeps dropping while fierce wind and blizzards are on the horizon. So, what use would I have for a shorts or a swimsuit during the first week of March? A recent article posted on lonelyplanet.com revealed six answers to that very question. Below you will find a few of the destination suggestions that will help you to no longer second guess why you’ll need a those tank tops and sunglasses.

Southern Cape, South Africa

March is in fact one of the most active months in Cape Town. There are a variety of sporting and cultural events to keep residents and tourist busy. The beginning of the month presents various cycling races, ending with the “world’s largest timed cycling event”, the Cape Town Cycle Tour. The tour hosts nearly 30,000 participants and will be held on Sunday, March 6, 2016.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour will be followed by a performing arts musical festival, Infecting the City. The festival will run throughout much of the Cape Town’s theatres, fountains, and museums. The final day of Infecting the City will end with the lively Cape Town Carnival on March 12, 2016.

New Zealand

If you’re as big on trying new foods as you are on traveling then make sure you head to New Zealand for the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival 25 years ago a local resident of Hokitika was overwhelmed with request in regards to her home-brewed gorse flower wine. In an effort to suppress the requests, she chose to hold a celebration of all the local foods of Hokitika. Travelers nowadays will not only be able to sample gorse flower wine, they can also try deep-fried beetles, whitebait patties, marinated tuna, and much more!

The Hokitika Wildfoods Festival takes place on March 12, 2016. Travelers must keep in mind that this wildly popular event does not allow entry to after the maximum of 10,000 people is reached.

Nara, Japan

One of Japan’s oldest Buddhist festivals, the Omizutori festival, is hosted in Nara during the month of march. Each night monks parade on the verandah of Nigatsu-dō holding torches and spraying embers on the crowd below. The deed is meant to “purify and bring luck” to visitors. Travelers will have more than enough time to catch embers of luck and purification as the event lasts from March 1st to March 14th.

FUN-draising Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day is widely recognized as a day to shower our loved ones with gifts and roses. But what about those in need? What about those who we don’t know and still need to be showered with our affection? Below you will find some simple and feasible ways to have fun while still raising funds to donate to the charity of your choice on Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s day soiree
This event will require a venue and entertainment but you can also charge admissions and inform guests that all proceeds will be allocated to the charity of your choosing.

Love wall
For a very affordable fee, people can pay to post their deepest and fondest thoughts of their loved ones to be shared for everyone to see. You can post images of this love on any of your social media platforms and donate the proceeds to your favorite charity.

Bake for goodness sake
There are a plethora of recipes for valentine’s day themed cupcakes, cookies, and muffins all over the internet. This is perfect opportunity to sell baked goods in your community, place of employment, or school to raise funds for a charitable cause. Dive into Pinterest and get to baking!

Secret admirers for sale
Yes, there will be many couples celebrating Valentine’s Day, but there will also be many singles too shy to reach out to the right one as well. Organize a secret admirer card courier event (for an affordable fee, of course) and use the funds to assist a charity you hold near and dear to your heart.

These are just a few of the ideas that came to mind. Feel free to reach out to me and share your Valentine’s Day FUN-draiser ideas!

Thanks for reading!
Alexandra Arriviagalla