The Steele Maiden: Travel Tips for Couples

We’ve all seen it (or been the ones ourselves) – the couple fighting at baggage claim or pulled off to the side of the road looking angrily at a map. What is it about travel that can bring out the worst in a couple? Adam and I don’t claim to never ever fight while traveling, but after 6+ years and countless trips together I like to think we’ve hit our stride. And since I often share the perfectly posed ‘after’ photos of our vacations.. I thought I’d share a more personal look at how we travel together in the hopes that it may save you from being the one in that baggage claim fight next time. Below, our best advice:


Okay, okay, so your 12 hour flight to Hawaii probably isn’t going to be as fun as laying on the beach with a daiquiri in hand.. but if you go into it dreading the actual ‘travel’ part of the trip I promise you’re going to be way more likely to be in a bad mood and probably end up picking a fight. Or just being a lame travel partner. Plus, in the case of our 2 cross country road trips, getting there really was the fun. So just embrace it and choose to start your vacation the minute you walk out your front door.

We’ve still got bottle rockets in our trunk from that detour to South of the Border and cry laughing thinking of the time we nearly missed our connection in Prague and got a lecture from the flight attendant about being late. Your favorite memories may just end up being in the ‘getting there’.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Tips for Couples


Despite your best laid plans.. I promise you, things are going to go wrong. You’re going to actually miss a flight connection, get a flat tire, arrive to the hotel only to end up hating the property, The photo on the beach at the beginning of this post? Our camera fell off the tripod minutes later and the lens broke. On our last trip to Los Angeles I spent a night in the Emergency Room hooked up to an IV (after catching a terrible stomach bug) with Adam curled up in a tiny chair beside me. Our king sized bed and hotel room only a few miles away.

It’s all in how you deal with it. And for Adam and I that means as a team. Even if frustrations are high, we try not to take it out on each other (easier said than done if either of us is ‘hangry’) and come up with the best/quickest/cheapest/whatever solution. Then get back to the fun stuff. Do you really want to spend your entire vacation sulking over the fact that your baggage was delayed for a day?

The Steele Maiden: Travel Tips for Couples


I’ve heard this more than once with couples I know – they go on vacation and all of a sudden one partner thinks that the other would want to go white water rafting or zip lining or shopping at luxury boutiques  all day. And, because the other is not at all the type of person who would ever want to actually do this, they begrudgingly go along with it and it ends in a fight (or in my sister’s case, tears on her honeymoon – what my brother in law was thinking with that hike when all she had packed was flip-flops – and hates hiking – I’ll never know…).

For example – Adam loves cars, so it would silly for me to get frustrated when we’re in a foreign country and he’s stopping every 10 feet to take photos of rare cars he’s never seen before. Likewise, I love laying on the beach but it’s not really Adam’s thing. So he’ll let me get extra time on the beach by being the one that leaves to go pick up lunch or run back to the hotel for a change of clothes. Sure, we’re traveling, but we are who we are – and you have to just respect that.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Tips for Couples


Travel can be stressful and often feels like ‘high stakes’ – you spent $xxx on this vacation so you have to pack every moment full of sight-seeing and Instagram-worthy adventures. But we’ve found that as a couple, travel works best when it’s a balance of relaxing time spent really connecting and time spent exploring. So we’ll leave ourselves a morning or two to wake up slowly and hang out in the hotel room, or skip a night of checking out local bars for a bubble bath and movies in a king-sized bed (since we don’t have a bathtub or a big bed at home) instead. Then the next day hit the ground running.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Tips for Couples


Honestly I think one of reasons that Adam and I have such a great time traveling together is because we never forget how grateful we are to do it. There were years in our early twenties when we were way too broke to travel (although even then we managed to pack picnic lunches and take day trips) so now that we have the opportunity to see the world together we feel lucky to do so. I hope I’m never standing next to this person that I love in the midst of a beautiful far-flung city bickering about some silly thing. What a waste of a gift.

And lastly, just for fun – a few travel selfies:

1st row (L): In Amsterdam, after a few cheap beers (R): En route to Montreal, sleepy

2nd row (L): In Miami, slightly sunburnt (R): In Charleston, swatting away mosquitos

3rd row (L): In Copenhagen, jet lagged (R): In Maine, battling the wind

The Steele Maiden: Travel Tips for Couples

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The Steele Maiden: Easy Summer Cocktail Recipe - Sparkling Lemon Drop

I know I keep saying it lately, but simple is really the name of the game for me amidst a busy, often stressful summer.   And this cocktail is about as simple as they come. It all started with this Spindrift sparkling water, which is flavored with real squeezed fruit. They’re SO refreshing (not sponsored.. I’m just really a fan! Plus, their packaging is pretty which always gets me) that aside form sipping them on their own I figured, why not add a little kick?


The Steele Maiden: Easy Summer Cocktail Recipe - Sparkling Lemon Drop

To be honest, this one wasn’t a super exact recipe – just kind of to taste. I used a really tiny pinch of sugar to sweeten it up and offset the tartness of all the lemon but you could totally omit that or use more, up to you! Otherwise, a good quality vodka (Tito’s is always a hit), fresh lemon juice and this subtly flavored sparkling water – shake, shake, shake – and you’re good to go. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

The Steele Maiden: Easy Summer Cocktail Recipe - Sparkling Lemon Drop

P.S. Spindrift sent me these sparkling waters to try, but if you’re on the hunt for them too I’ve seen them at Whole Foods or my local specialty grocery store. 


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The Steele Maiden: Summer Tips for Healthy Hair with Dove Intensive Repair

Between the humidity in the city air, the UV rays from extra time in the sun, and the harsh chlorine in the gym’s pool – it feels like my hair gets damaged at every turn this time of year. Which is why I was game to switch up my routine with Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Intensive Repair Conditioner. Dove is one of the brands I truly trust (see this post for when I switched to their Advanced Care Deodorant – a product I still highly recommend and use daily) so when they boasted that it could provide 5x smoother hair and prevent 90% of damage before it even occurs, I couldn’t wait to see the results for myself. Here – all of the summer tips for healthy hair that I’m swearing by this season.

The Steele Maiden: Summer Tips for Healthy Hair with Dove Intensive Repair

Wash Less, Condition More: Aside from switching out my old products to the Dove Intensive Repair – I’ve been trying to adjust to a routine that doesn’t unnecessarily strip my hair of moisture (right now that means washing about 3-4 times per week). Oppositely, in the Winter I typically only use conditioner 1-2 times per week, but now I’ve been using the Intensive Repair Conditioner each time I wash to be sure that they’re working together to actively make my strands more resilient to damage. Plus, I love that they don’t leave residue behind that would weigh my hair down. Meaning it still looks light and smooth on the days between washing.

The Steele Maiden: Summer Tips for Healthy Hair with Dove Intensive Repair

Go Natural: Heat styling is pretty much asking for damage, so I try to take advantage of the warm summer weather by letting my hair air dry as much as possible and not straightening or curling it very often.

Be Gentle: I have fine hair, but lots of it – which means it’s prone to knotting. Getting a wide tooth comb and quality hairbrush keep me from adding to breakage. Plus, I recently switched to these hair ties for the gym that don’t put creases into my hair.

Cover-Up: Whether it’s a hat at the beach to protect UV damage and drying out your scalp or a swim cap at the pool – put a layer of protection between your hair and whatever is out to get it.

The Steele Maiden: Summer Tips for Healthy Hair with Dove Intensive Repair

Even though I’m taking the time to be extra careful with my hair this summer, I love knowing that the Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner duo is doing a majority of the work for me – using innovative technology to create a foundation of strong hair that’s able to combat damage before it even happens. Which means I can get back to lying on a beach somewhere, breeze blowing in my (healthy) hair.


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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The Steele Maiden: Weekly Round-Up

Why is it that I always seem to be the very busiest at work in the summer and time flies by the fastest? Exactly in the season when I want to savor it the most? One of life’s biggest conundrums. I’ve been making the most of my slivers of free time lately by hanging out in the city and escaping into the sun as much as possible. Here – a few things on my mind as we reach the halfway point on summer. Happy weekend friends!

  1. A couple of the photos above are from last weekend’s drive out to Rockaway Beach. I wore this cute cut-out one piece swimsuit that was a big hit with you all on Instagram (and comes in a few other colors too).
  2. I’ve been really refining the products I use on my skin and hair each day and Origins new GinZing line (with ginseng and caffeine) has made the cut. Their eye cream is truly magic at de-puffing my tired lids in the morning and erasing dark circles and the tinted moisturizer with SPF 40 is all I’ve been wearing on my skin lately (see the image above where my face is otherwise make-up free).
  3. I’ve got really big plans for the second half of the year and picked up this book (which I’ve heard people rave over lately) as a little mental pep-talk.
  4. I’m constantly in search of the best iced chai tea latte in the city. Maison Kayser  serves up a pretty solid option – plus has the cute tiled floors pictured above.
  5. When Lucinda Chambers was fired from her Fashion Director role at British Vogue after 25 years – she wrote a tell-all, tell-off of the magazine and industry at large. My favorite excerpt: “There are very few fashion magazines that make you feel empowered. Most leave you totally anxiety-ridden, for not having the right kind of dinner party, setting the table in the right kind of way or meeting the right kind of people. Truth be told, I haven’t read Vogue in years. Maybe I was too close to it after working there for so long, but I never felt I led a Vogue-y kind of life. The clothes are just irrelevant for most people – so ridiculously expensive. What magazines want today is the latest, the exclusive. It’s a shame that magazines have lost the authority they once had. They’ve stopped being useful. In fashion we are always trying to make people buy something they don’t need. We don’t needany more bags, shirts or shoes. So we cajole, bully or encourage people into continue buying. I know glossy magazines are meant to be aspirational, but why not be both useful and aspirational? That’s the kind of fashion magazine I’d like to see.”  Same Lucinda, same.


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I usually do these weekly round-ups on Fridays, but Adam and I spent the weekend at home in Pennsylvania with family and didn’t take a single photo for this blog. Kind of refreshing.. but also leaves me starting the week a bit behind! I’ll have more for you the rest of this week – including everything I’m packing for 4th of July at the lake! – but for now, here are a few things on my mind. And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to enter my shared giveaway, you could win a $1,000 Nordstrom giveaway!

  1. Speaking of my hometown in PA, the sandals shown above are from a local company there called Dansko. They are best known for making clogs that doctors and nurses often wear (designed to keep people comfortably on their feet for long hours), but their regular line is filled with cute sandals this summer. And I’m not kidding when I say wearing this platform pair is like walking on an actual cloud.
  2. My sister and I are thinking about planning a little girl’s trip for late summer. Any suggestions for where we should head? I’ve still never been to Newport, Rhode Island or could head back to somewhere I’ve been only briefly like Nashville, Tennessee!
  3. I’ve been obsessed with straw basket bags all spring/summer and I’m not alone. This Glitter Guide post shows how some of my favorite bloggers are wearing them.. and you may spot a familiar face!
  4. I’d usually always choose a skirt or dress over a pair of shorts but this pair is so fun I could be convinced otherwise. With a blazer I think they could even work for the office, but with heels and a silk tank they just scream date night.
  5. I’ve been using the Babbel app on my lunch breaks to re-learn French (I took 5 years of it between high school and college but have forgotten so much since not using it). The app almost feels like you’re playing a game and it’s a fun way to work your mind.. which otherwise aimlessly scrolling through Instagram on my lunch breaks just doesn’t do.

Have a great week friends! And now.. for the giveaway:

2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers
to give YOU a chance to win:
a $1,000 Nordstrom Gift Card, just in time for the Anniversary Sale!

Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.
You’ll receive one entry per completion.
This giveaway is open internationally and runs until 7/3.
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.