• Collectively Colleen

When I was in college (possibly even younger), I used to see my Dad and other relatives/friends traveling all of the time for work, Jet setting off to different cities and sometimes different countries. They would come back sharing photos of the different places they ate and things they saw. It all seemed so glamorous to me. Getting paid to travel?! Yes please! I aspired to one day have a job that allowed me to travel the world.


Fast forward to 2017 when I landed my current job, I was told that there would be some traveling involved. My inner-self was jumping for joy. Was I able to travel? Heck yes!

After a few trips around the country, I can now tell you why people say traveling for work is not all it’s cracked up to be! While I wouldn’t call myself a business trip connoisseur, I’d like to trip after a handful of trips over the last 2 years that I’ve got it somewhat figured out. Below are some of my top trips for newbies when it comes to business travel.


1. Make Time for Yourself.

Traveling for work is like being at work 24/7. There’s no “set hours” usually and you spend the majority of your free time with your co-workers going to lunch, dinner, drinks, etc. It can become overwhelming faster than you realize. My saving grace has always been making sure I carve out time for myself. Whether that’s waking up early to do some yoga, stopping by my hotel room before dinner for a quick nap or heading back early from dinner to catch up on some reading. It has truly made a difference in my energy levels when traveling!


2. Don’t be Afraid to Eat Alone.

I used to be one of those people who hated eating by themselves. Now, I love it. When I’m traveling for work, it’s usually for some type of tradeshow where there always needs to be someone “working” the booth/showroom. Therefore, not everyone can leave to go get lunch and you’re left fending for yourself. At first, this was terrifying to me and now I find so much joy in taking that time for myself (re: tip #1).


3. Pack Light.

I also used to be one of those people who would ALWAYS check a bag. I insisted on bringing half of my closet and 8 pairs of shoes “just in case”. This latest trip I decided to keep it minimal and get it all in a carry on. What a difference. I didn’t spend each morning deciding what to wear and I was able to walk right off the plane and into the car home without waiting for a bag. The latter alone made it worth it.


Plus, sometimes you might be stuck having to go to an office, show or meeting before being able to check in to your hotel and you don’t want to be the girl with the obnoxiously large rolling bag.



4. Enjoy What you Can!

While yes, business trips are exhausting and most likely you won’t have free time to explore the city like you want to, enjoy what you can! Relish in being able to eat at new restaurants, meet new people and just getting to experience a new city.


I hope these tips help you out for your future business trip!


Do you have to travel for work a lot? If so, what are some tips I missed? Let me know in the comments or on my latest Instagram post.


xoxo

Colleen

  • Collectively Colleen

Updated: Nov 29, 2018


To say that our trip to Paris was a whirlwind would be an understatement! It was a week full of Aperol spritzes, art and lots and lots of walking! But it was the most incredible trip.

If you know me, then you know I’ve been DYING to go to Paris ever since I fell in love with Funny Face in High School. (Audrey Hepburn was and still is my IDOL) Peter and I were even planning to possible travel there next September for our one year wedding anniversary!


So when my parents texted us (while we were still in Hawaii on our honeymoon FYI) asking if we wanted to visit my sister who was studying abroad in Paris during her Thanksgiving break, we jumped at the chance! Not only did we have minimal time for the excitement to settle in, my parents and sister planned our trip entirely so it was sort of a surprise trip!


ACTIVITIES


Eiffel Tower

The big thing (literally) I was looking forward to was seeing the Eiffel tower twinkle at night. So on our very first night there, jet lagged and exhausted, we made our way over and was it incredible! It seemed so surreal that I couldn’t even imagine we were there! We didn’t spend much time there but it was still enough to take in all the magic.



Louvre

Of course like any other Parisian tourist we made a trip to the Louvre. Maybe it was the cold or maybe it was because we arrived early, there wasn’t much of a line to get in! Once in, we meandered our way through the museum from top to bottom, ending with the ever famous Mona Lisa. By that point, the museum started to get SUPER crowded and we made our way out of there! While it wasn’t my favorite, I think it’s still definitely something to experience.



Montmartre

On our third day there while my sister had class, we took a walking tour of the area of Montmartre. I went into it knowing NOTHING about the area and was pleasantly surprised at how much I learned! I thought halfway through that I’d be cold, bored and done with it but it really flew by! We learned so much about the artists that lived in that area (Picasso, Van Gogh, etc) and got to see so many pretty sights! This was definitely a favorite of mine during our trip.







Disneyland Paris

Being self-proclaimed “Disney Fanatics”, my family had to make it over to Disneyland Paris! After the hour long train ride, we finally made it! It was terribly cold that day and a little wet but we spent the entire day there exploring and riding rides! If you’re a Disney fan, it’s totally a must-see.



Catacombs

At first, I was a bit hesitant about visiting the Catacombs. Tunnels and tunnels of bones of dead bodies line-up? Not my ideal activity. But with the audio tour we had, we learned a lot about Paris’ past and how this came to be. While yes, very creepy, it was also pretty interesting! My claustrophobia may have kicked in a littttlee bit in the beginning, overall it was pretty cool!




Musee d’Orsay/ Musee de l’Orangerie

This was by far my favorite museum(s) that we went to! There are two different buildings and in order to see both you need to purchase two tickets, which I’m so glad we did! These museums hold a lot of the art that you see in your textbooks: Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Degas and more! It was incredible to see some of my favorite paintings in real life! Monet’s water lilies were seriously unreal!






Arch de Triomphe

While pretty from the bottom, the view from the top of the Arch was the best! We could see all of Paris. It was definitely worth the hundreds of steps to the top!






FOOD

We didn’t plan too many of our meals out in Paris. Majority of the time when we got hungry, we just popped into the nearest corner cafe and took a seat! There’s seriously cafes EVERYWHERE and they were all so yummy.



Les Fables de la Fontaine

We ate here our first night and the squash I had was amazing! I also began my addiction to Aperol Spritzs. It was also walking distance from the Eiffel Tower.


Les Cocottes Arc de Triomphe

This place was so cute with some of the best wine/champagne selection and great desserts!


Noglu

Being Gluten Intolerant, I was really nervous to travel to Paris since so much of their culture is bread. We found this little Gluten Free Cafe on a whim and omg it was my favorite breakfast! It was walking distance to Musee d’Orsay and had some of the best bread, cappuccinos and jucies!



Gemini Family

Sometimes you just crave pizza and somehow we found a gluten free pizza place within walking distance of where we were staying! We even ordered take out from them a few nights later when we were just too tired to go out!


Lauduree

What’s a trip to Paris without a trip to Lauduree?! We got a box of their macarons and they were delicious!




WHERE WE STAYED


7th Arrondissement

My parents rented us an Airbnb within the 7th arrondissement. It was so cute and perfect for us! We were able to stock some groceries, have a place to hangout and live among the Parisians!


Metro

We took the Metro EVERYWHERE that week. It was seriously so easy to use and so convenient. Especially since there was a stop two blocks from our Airbnb.


I honestly could have stayed another WEEK in Paris. There are so many more things I want to experience in that area and even more places within France that I’d love to travel to. Maybe we’ll be back soon? Who knows! But I do hope you are able to make it to Paris one day. It truly is the City of Lights!


xoxo

Colleen

  • Collectively Colleen

Updated: Nov 1, 2018

Sunrise on top of Haleakala

To say we’re sad to return to normal life post-honeymoon would be an understatement! Lounging around Maui, driving through the rain forest and sipping tropical cocktails became a routine I was very much okay with. But alas, eventually we had to return to reality.

While we may or may not be already planning our next trip to Maui (!), I’m excited to be sharing all of our favorite restaurants, beaches, activities and more! Whether you’ve been to Maui a million times or you’re debating the thought of jetting off the islands, my guide is perfect for any Maui-goers!


RESTAURANTS

Finding a restaurant whenever we travel is definitely a difficult task. I’m gluten free and Peter is one of the pickiest eaters in the world. Before we took off to Maui, we had a full list of places that were “pre-approved”. Some we went to and loved, some not so much! Below were our absolute favorites.


Ulani’s

Okay so Ulani’s isn’t exactly a restaurant per say but a shaved ice shop. While it sounds like a mediocre activity (Peter wasn’t thrilled to do this originally), it was SO GOOD. Like the best shaved ice you could imagine. I wouldn’t even call it shaved ice. It was this magical flavored powder with ice cream on the bottom. We may have indulged in this more than a few times!


Ulani's Shaved Ice

Fleetwood’s

We were originally drawn into this place because of their incredible rooftop views and Sunset Ceremony (definitely worth the experience) but we stayed for the food! Their truffle fries were incredible and the swordfish was so fresh! Fun fact: it’s also owned by Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac! So cool!


Fleetwood's

Fleetwood's Rooftop View

The Fish Market Maui

Peter is NOT a seafood eater by any means. This place wasn’t even on our list but his brother INSISTED we go there. So while Peter had the cheeseburger I had some of the second best (see below) fish tacos I’ve ever eaten! The hole in the wall shop was a little crowded and was right around the corner from our hotel so we decided to just grab it to-go and eat in our room.

The Fish Market Maui

Mama’s Fish House

Okay I have to preface this by saying, it’s probably not worth the hype. Mama’s Fish House is claimed to be the “Best Restaurant on Maui” and while yes, it’s delicious and yes, the place is adorable; we didn’t exactly have the best experience. We, again, weren’t going to go here but Peter’s sister insisted that we had to! All reservations were booked in the weeks leading up to our honeymoon, but while we were sitting poolside I checked their OpenTable and a time had opened up for 8:30 PM the following evening! Peter begrudgingly agreed to go and the next night we made the 45 min drive over from our hotel.


While we both had great meals, they weren’t anything special and the service wasn’t too great either (our waitress forgot about us). If you’re staying nearby and can get a good reservation, I’d say check it out! By otherwise we don’t think you’re missing too much.

Mama's Fish House

Coconut’s Fish Cafe

These were hands down the best fish tacos of my life, or rather tostados! There was so much jam packed into this taco I couldn’t believe it! There was so much flavor and so much food! I can’t wait to have them again.


Coconut's Fish Cafe


ACTIVITIES

Peter and I had decided beforehand that we didn’t want to book a lot of activities and excursions, we wanted to be able to actually take time and relax on our honeymoon. That being said, we did still want to see what Maui was all about!


Road to Hana

If you do your research, the Road to Hana is a long stretch of highway in Maui that has waterfalls and cool hikes all up and down. But if you truly want to experience it, it’ll take 1-2 full days. We weren’t ready to commit to that kind of time but we still wanted to do some waterfall exploring! I picked out a few places with waterfalls along the beginning of the highway and we set out to explore them!


The very first waterfall you’ll encounter is Twin Falls. It’s HEAVILY crowded and EXTREMELY touristy! We literally stayed here all of 10 mins because we could barely see the waterfall because of all the people.


Continuing on we stopped at Mile Marker 6.7 to head on a hike to supposedly 3 waterfalls. The trail was steep, muddy and not for the faint of heart. The first waterfall was dried up but we made it to the second one and did a little bit of swimming! The water was freezing but we were sweating from the treacherous hike. Again, it was a tad crowded here but we could at least get into the water.





We continued along the highway passing scenic lookouts and what appeared to be more crowded trails until we reached the spot I had been anticipating: Three Bears Falls. I had read about how cool it was and had seen photos and I was beyond excited to do it. But when we arrived I hesitated.


The waterfall was underneath a bridge that had no evident trail down to it. It had just started to rain. I was a little cold and muddy from the hike before. But Peter found a spot to hike down and convinced me to go ahead with it. I was not disappointed.





Three Bears Falls

After another treacherous hike down the side of a rock, we arrived to the most beautiful falls. Best part: we were the only ones there! Everyone else viewed the falls from the bridge and didn’t have the guts or time to hike to the bottom.


The water was incredible, the falls were beyond cool and it felt like our own little oasis. This was hands down both of our favorite parts of our trip. After that we decided to call it quits on our Road to Hana exploration because we thought anything else would be a let down.


Haleakala Sunrise

On the island of Maui there is one volcano, Haleakala, which is dormant. It’s a national park that houses lots of activities and one of the most popular is sunrise. I had read and seen photos of visitors watching the sunrise from the top of Haleakala which is above the clouds and thought we HAD to do it!


It was about a 3 hour drive from our hotel, so if we wanted to be there on time we’d have to wake up at 2:30 am. Me, being the smart woman I am, figured if we did it on the very first morning we were there it would be easy enough because we’d still be jet lagged. I was right. We easily woke up at 2:30 am and made the trek over. The initial drive, I’ll admit, was a bit boring. We were completely in the dark with nothing to see. Though we did spy a few cows sleeping on the side of the road!


While doing my research, I had read that it can get down to 32 degrees on top of the volcano in the mornings. That being said, we were definitely prepared with multiple layers and jackets. We did see some other visitors in shorts and flip flops who had clearly not done their research!


We arrived in plenty of time and hung out in the warmth of the car until we started to see the sun rise from beneath the clouds. It was definitely a memorable experience that I recommend to anyone visiting Maui! TIP: You do need to make a reservation ahead of time to be able to go there at sunrise!


Sunrise on Haleakala



Black Rock

Peter and I are big fans of snorkeling and definitely wanted to make sure we had time to explore the ocean on our trip. Again, while doing research, we read that some of the best snorkeling on the whole island was walking distance from our hotel!


The first few days we attempted snorkeling along black rock, but the water was way too choppy for me, crowded with people and Peter said he didn’t see much. But later on in the week, the water seemed to calm down and become crystal clear. That was when we did some of the best snorkeling! There were tons of fish and plenty of sea turtles! Some sea turtles were within feet of the shoreline and almost bigger than me!


Black Rock

WHERE TO STAY


Westin at Kaanapali

We stayed at the Westin in Kaanapali along the stretch of resorts. Kaanapali is home to around 8 or more resorts. The Westin had (what we thought) the best outdoor pool and beach area on the strip.


While they were doing construction while we were there, we loved staying there! We always had beachfront seating by the pool. We’d spend our morning lounging there and after lunch head down to the beach. There is also a running path along the beach connecting all of the resorts, so it was the perfect place to people watch!





Kaanapali Area

While the Kaanapali area is heavily “touristy” since it houses majority of the resorts, we really enjoyed it and felt that there was a lot to do. We were 15 minutes from downtown Lahaina which has tons of local restaurants and shops. We were 45 minutes from the airport and a decent drive to all of the things we wanted to see. When we head back, we’ll definitely stay in this same area.


I hope our guide is helpful to you if you’re heading to Maui soon or want to in the future. Let me know on my latest Instagram post if I missed any places and where we should go when we head back!


xoxo Colleen

About Me

Hi there! My name is Colleen and I’m the author and creator of Collectively Colleen.This blog is a place where I’ll be sharing everything about my life! From favorites to career tips, outfits I’m loving and places to travel, I’m going to be sharing it all here!

 

Read More

 

  • White Facebook Icon
Join my mailing list

© 2020 Collectively Colleen