Mission Beach, San Diego, Ca…Best of

Just next store to PB (Pacific Beach) right along the strand is Mission Beach, a bit more laid back and chill town. I got my motor going at Swell Coffee with a cup of joe and their yummy and filling Surfer Burrito that is loaded with Egg(whites only) Bacon, Tator Tots, Guac and Salsa.

Bouncing around town I came upon Art Alley which is a bunch of funky homes, murals and sculptures definitely worth checking out.

I hit Wave n Air Surf Shop where I finally found and picked up a solid Beach-chair to get me through the week. Of note, beach chair rentals are not common in San Diego, so your best bet is to just buy one and give it away when you fly out.

After spending some quality time in the sand, sun and sea I I hit Miss B’s Coconut Caribbean for lunch. To drink I had to try their The Oxanan Dead, a great tequila and mezcal based twist on a Tiki cocktail. To eat I was temped by the Cubano Sandwich but went healthy and green with their Steak Salad with Chimichurri dressing. Of note, tasty and huge. I think they cut a forest down for mine. Chatted with some local girls over my artwork in my sketchbook and the artwork that decorated their bodies. Tattoos are pretty popular here and they go practically Yakuza here.

Since it was still only the very late afternoon decided my next beverage should be coffee vs booze and popped into Buzzed a mini chain out here for an Iced Americano. Chilled for a bit then strolled back to my home base in PB the Blue Sea Beach Hotel for some pool time before dinner.

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Pacific Beach (PB), San Diego -Best Food and Drinks Spots

After a long weekend in La Jolla It was time to hit PB and the surrounding beaches(of note I alternated btwn PB, Mission and OB…upcoming pieces on them coming soon). I arrived on Tuesday at the Blue Sea Beach Hotel for the rest of my stay. Located right on the Strand just feet from the beach, with a pool, large rooms with ultra comfy beds and a balcony it was a great spot to base out of.

After some beach and pool it was time for Taco Tuesday. I hit FatFish and enjoyed their scallop taco (regular price) and two chicken tacos that were only $1.25 each and amazing. To drink I started with their Gran Margarita with tequila and then had then make the next one with Mezcal. Discussed the local food scene with the cutie sitting next to me while her “not my boyfriend” starting acting slightly possessive.

For dinner on Wednesday I strolled up the strand to the Water Bar a more upscale spot for the post 30 crowd. Downed a couple of house cocktails while devouring the yellowtail tangerine marinated ceviche with grilled pineapple and a Shrimp Po Boy with vinegar fries for my main.

For breakfast on Thursday I went to nearby Rum Jungle for a delicious and nutritious Acai bowl. So good I went three days in a row for Acai and Pitaya bowls.

I hit Crushed on Garnet for Chiliquiles and Cold-brew Coffee and than hit the waves. After some beach time I hit the PB Ale House for a brew and burger. The burger was great, juicy and tasty. Their beer was Ok.

For dinner that night I went to Itzakaya for a decent salmon roll and pretty good spicy miso ramen. The staff was very accommodating and friendly. Craving some Ice Cream I went to Afters for peanut butter s’mores and frozen hot chocolate ice cream in a cup. Yum:)

After another Acai bowl at Rum Jungle I hit PB for my last day. For brunch I hit World Famous for a Moscow Mule, lobster bisque, seared yellowfin tuna and then some more sun before I Ubered to the airport.

With plenty of time before my flight I hit the Stone Street Brewery’s Airport location food a flight of beers(7oz each!) and a Chicken sammie that was awesome. Then jumped on my Jet Blue redeye back to Nuevo York…

La Jolla Cove: Food, Drink, and Sea Lions

After dropping off my gear at the La Valencia Hotel (my home for the next three days) I headed across the street to check out the Village of La Jolla. My first stop was a bite and a brew at world famous Cody’s for Brunch. For my Vitamin C I had an Orange Ave Wit (Coronado Brewery) Beer and to eat their Farmers Veggie and Goat cheese Omelette (egg white only) with a side of amazing grits.

Then I hit Bobolli for their amazing gelatos and sorbets.They make exceptional Affogato’s. I still had time to kill before my room was ready so I hit La Valencia’s beautiful pool. The most thick and comfortable lounge chairs ever. Then checked into my small, yet very well done and comfy room. The hotels nickname is the Pink Lady and she is a beauty…inside and out.

For dinner I hit Puesta For Guac, Tacos y a Tamarind Mezcal cocktail along with a green Michelada. Highly recommend hitting this spot while in town.

Craving coffee the next morning I went to Brick n Bell for a cup and an Avocado Toast which was tasty. The beautiful in La Jolla Cove most love their coffee since I saw more beautiful women here than anywhere in La Jolla.

I then Ubered to La Jolla Shores to hit the beach. First though, lunch at Mori Sushi for hand rolls and a brew from Ballast. Rented a beach chair at the general store right by the beach with the mailbox in front on Aviendaes Playa and hit the sand and surf to see Leopard Sharks (only saw minnows…)!

After enough saltwater and sun I popped into the PB Shore Club a chill, open airy and Dog friendly spot for Tasty Tacos and local brews. Back in La Jolla Cove I went to Georges second floor for some excellent cocktails prepared by true mixologists while chatting up some girls who were enjoying petite pink drinks by the bar.

Next morning I went to the Parakeet Cafe for a Nitro Coconut Coffee to rev my engine, browsed some books and art supplies in Warwick’s and then went to the Crab Catcher for lunch. I started with a Crabby Mary and devoured their Crab Salad BLT with large side salad. The outside deck has beautiful views of the water. Right down their stairs and across the street I went for a rather scenic stroll along the La Jolla Cove Walk Trail…which of note is loaded with Sea Lions. Hit Bobolli again, this time for water based fruit flavored sorbet.

On Monday it got pretty hot so after some pool time I decided to do my first of many Happy Hour Pub crawls. My first stop was the Karl Strauss Brewing Company for a flight of their very good craft beers and their Shishito pepper, watermelon and feta appi (when in Cali…).Then onto Catania for some superb Italian spirt based Cocktails.

I took a break to check out a number of Art Galleries along Prospect Street then stopped in Oil and Wine for a look and saw they had an outdoor patio where I enjoyed a flight of Rose’s while surrounded by local girls sharing their trials snd tribulations of relationships and dating. My last stop was at Herringbones that has an all evening happy hour on Mondays. I ordered up a local brew, some oysters and their fennel sausage and mushroom flatbread.

My last meal in La Jolla Cove on Tuesday morning was at Whisksladel a great Cali style Gastro-Pub for awesome Chilaquiles and Coffee. Next up was onto Pacific Beach for the next 5 nights/6 days. For more pics of the spots I’ve mentioned view/follow me on instagram @shroberts and for more details on locations Steve @ TripbySkyscanner

Pappas Bros. Dallas, Love Shack and Sonny Bryans BBQ @ DFW Airport

Do you wonder…”where’s the beef?” It’s in Dallas and here are 3 spots whether you looking for a high meal or something for the flight back.

Pappas Bros. is quite simply one of the best steakhouses in the country. Everything from the cocktails to the starters, the steaks, sides and desert absolutely top notch. While waiting for the table we started with cocktails. Enjoy Bourbon? Try their Well Bent comprised of 2 bourbons, sherry and Campari…outstanding.

To start we ordered up Bacon wrapped Scallops,Crabcakes ,Shrimp Cocktail, Deviled Eggs with Lobster and their House salad topped with Bacon. For my main I choose the Pappas dry aged strip steak (this is what they are known for) rare and bleeding that came out bloody delicious. How a vampire would eat it.

For sides we went big with onion rings the size of bagels, creamed spinach, au gratin potatoes, and blue crab mac n cheese. All great the latter two the standouts.

For desert we shared Pecan Pie and an insane Milk Chocolate Marshmallow mouse cake. Irish Coffee with Amaro for my final beverage of the evening.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse is located at 10477 Lombardy Lane

For lunch at DFW airport on my way home I popped into the Love Shack. Their bacon cheese burger was great, fries very good, though their Chocolate Shake was more a frothy Chocolate milk. So skip the shake and get a local craft brew from the Deep Ellum Brewery. I enjoyed a Dallas Blonde and wish I could have brought back a six.

For dinner on the plane I stopped at Sonny Byran’s DFW location and ordered their Sliced Brisket sandwich. I was pleasantly surprise by how delish this brisket at an airport was. God Bless Texas.

Tampa: Harbor Island Sushi, Seafood, Burgers and Ybor Craft Brews

Ever been down to Tampa for biz or pleasure? I recently had a business trip down by Harbor Island where I stayed at the Tampa Marriot Waterside which made a great place to base out of.

Upon arriving at TPA I needed the lunch I forgot to bring on my JetBlue flight. Burger 21 right in the terminal has tasty Burger’s….I couldn’t believe it when they asked how I wanted it cooked. This was no fast food burger…the Haystack with Bacon, cheese and guac was great.

Once checked in at the Marriott I took care of e-mail and follow-up phone calls then hit the pool for laps.

Dinner time…I decided to keep it local and went across the bridge to recently opened American Social on Harbor Island for dinner. They have a great selection of craft brews, I started with the Proof Brewing Mango Wit. Ordered up Shrimp and Grits with a side of Broccolini to keep it green and healthy and a Last Stop Limited Edition IPA. Of note, this spot is better for drinks and mingling than food.

Every morning I got breakfast at Fast Jack’s (Jackson’s To Go spot). The Ham n Egg sandwiches are big enough for two, their special green shake is nutritious and delicious and their coffee was great and strong.

I had a number of my meals at Jacksons Bistro a nice spot right on the water with indoor and outdoor seating. My first day after internal meetings and external client calls I needed lunch. Lobster bisque with blue crab fritters to start and a Yellowtail roll and the Sexy Ben Roll (Tuna, Eel, avocado and Tobiko) hit the spot and then back for more meetings.

After a looong day…time for Happy Hour at Jackson’s outdoor bar with my crew. Needing a change of atmosphere we headed over to nearby Ybor City’s Tampa Bay Brewery for dinner and brews. Hibiscus Wheat to start, then a Kumquat IPA to go with my Goulda cheese, Bacon and Chipolte BBQ sauce Burger with a side of Mac n Cheese. Yum…

Next day we celebrated a work anniversary at…correct, Jackson’s Bistro. NE Clam chowder to start followed by a Grouper tempura roll, a Spider Crab roll and Scallop nigiri.

For dinner my original plan was for somewhere new…but after another long day and a swim found myself with a Burger topped with Pastrami with a side order of Seafood at Jackson’s indoor bar. Then hit for a bit American Social for craft brews and to check out the scene…which is rather good looking.

My last day I got a Cuban for breakfast at Fast Jacks by the water on the Riverwalk and their Chicken Mojo for lunch for the plane. Both good sized, fresh and tasty.

Location wise the Tampa Marriot Waterside right across the bridge from Harbor Island was great. Rooms are nice with big comfy beds, free WiFi for Marriott Members, and large screen TV’s. However the star is the beautiful saltwater pool and deck. The water deep enough to do my almost daily laps…to burn off all the tasty burgers, sushi and craft beers:)

#Travel 2018 Survival Gear

Are you ready to start hitting the road for pleasure and business in 2018? Here are my latest and greatest for Traveling this coming year.

First up, my new Away Bigger Carry-On has really impressed me. This slightly larger size actually makes a significant difference in how much you can pack in it. The compression sleeve works great and even has a laptop sleeve in it. Aside from it being ultra light and those 360 wheels, Away upgraded the built in recharger so it just pops out at the push of a button.

For your feet Allbirds are ultra comfy and ultralight. While perfect for a long flight I generally pack them for everything from the gym to a walk around town or casual restaurant. I always pack a Patagonia pullover. I’ve used them to stay warm when traveling to/from cold destinations, to wearing when its cool at night and even as a pillow while on safari in Africa.

I always pack a camera, my Olympus Tough takes great pics and can handle any of the elements including underwater shots. I carry RHA earbuds not just to ensure quality and hygiene on a plane, but to drown out the psychologically disturbed on trains and buses who blast their music or talk on speakerphone.

See that battered blue and red pillbox…its not new but tried and true. Where I pack my vitamins and meds. Available from Flight001 who specialize in Travel Gear. Aside from books to read I always carry a sketchbook, my current fave is from Leuchtturm1917.

Last but far from least, a good pair of Sunglasses. I’m currently rocking the Eastwood in blue from WarbyParker which are of note and in my case prescription lens.

If you have any new or must have recommendations please feel free to share them in the comments section or post and tag in Twitter… I’m @steve22roberts and on Instagram @shroberts

Quinto Sol y Blacksmith of Redwood City, CA

If by chance you either frequent Redwood City, CA or find yourself out there on a business (or pleasure) trip here’s a couple of spots that friends and I hit and really enjoyed. After doing some research including a recommendation I choose Quinto Sol based upon its food and drink menu sounding good (turned out to be excelente:) and that it was a pretty large spacious restaurant that could accommodate large groups with a big bar area.

I showed up with over a dozen co-workers in tow without reservations (I tried to set them, but of note, they open at 5pm and do not take reservations over a VM, so book the day before or call at 5pm day of) and was told at best a 2 hour wait. However Alexa the restaurant Manager came through big time, getting us seated within an hour. This worked out perfect giving us an hour to enjoy their awesome Margaritas while we waited.

Quinto Sol’s menu offers Tacos, Burrito’s and a large number of entrees at very reasonable prices for the quality of the food. Their salas, sauces and mole were truly superior. I enjoyed the Lomo de Cerda (grilled Pork tenderloin stuffed with Chorizo, Monterey cheese, Spinach and topped with a memorable Poblano sauce(see featured photo).

Of their Margarita’s their spicy Picante was my fave and I turned on one of my dining companions from Asia to Mezcal, first time they ever tried it. I believe this was when I found myself drinking three fisted.

Quinto Sol is a fun spot for very good Mexican food and great drinks. The service by our waitstaff was spot on and again kudos to Alexa who accommodated our large group.

After dinner we headed over to the Blacksmith a nice local pub with a patio out front and a cool space inside serving well made cocktails and craft beers. My friends and I really enjoyed their Old Fashioned’s. When the clock hit midnight it kinda dawned on us (aka The Final Four:) that we had a big day coming up, thus we Uber uped, calling it a night.

Quinto Sol is located at 2201 Broadway Street in Redwood CA

Blacksmith is located at 2048 Broadway

Summer Beach Reading 2017

I generally put this list together in the beginning of the Summer with books I plan on reading. This year I’m sharing what I’ve already read or in the middle of. The list is a mix Thrillers, some WW2 History, a book on Octopus, a graphic novel and a book on…

Bitters – I love adding Bitters to my cocktails and you should as well. This book not only has recipes for drinks and homemade bitters but a history of them as well. For Cocktails Geeks…

Forever and a Death – International intrigue that takes place when China takes over Hong Kong. This was originally a script for a James Bond movie by Donald E. Westlake.  

Jungle Girl – By the one and only Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Old school high adventure in a far eastern land hidden in the jungles of Cambodia. Wild Tigers, Beautiful Princeses and Warriors oh my…

Killing Pilgrim – Alen Mattich – Another great thriller that wraps in the Assassination of the Prime Minister of Sweden in 1986 and the CIA in the Balkans right before the war broke out.  

Pacific Burn – Barry Lancet – A thriller that spans Japan and SF with an ancient Killer taking out a rich connected Japanese family one at a time. Of note, this is not Supernatural. 



The Consummata by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins- Hard boiled Pulp Noir with tough dames, vicious sadists, and a rather interesting anti-hero mix it up with  exiled Cubans in 1960’s Miami. 


The Night Manager – John Le Carre – A mild mannered Hotel Manager gets caught up in the world of an International Arms Dealer. Oh, he did serve some time in the British Army. I’ve read this twice, before the TV mini series and recently read it again. One of my fave books. 



The Other Side of Silence – Philip Kerr – Former Berlin Detective tries to keep a low profile after WWII on the French Rivera and finds himself embroiled by famous Writer Somerset Magnum with former Nazis and the British Secret Service 


The Soul of an Octopus – Sy Montgomery -If you like to eat Octopus don’t read this, because now I can’t any longer. Amazing book that gives insight into these amazing creatures. 


The Winter Fortress – Neal Bascomb –  The true story of the The Nazi program to build an atomic weapon at a hydro electric plant in Norway and the heroes who stopped them. 


Earth One: Wonder Woman -Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette. An updated modern retelling of her origin. A graphic novel. 

I’m also going to add a few magazines that may not be in your usual suspect list 


Hayo– This is an independently published magazine that focuses on storytelling and photography vs Hotels, Restaurants, etc 


Monocle – Covers the world and has pieces on everything  from articles on doing business, defense forces, shopping, food,  best places to live etc., around the globe. The perspective is primarily European. 


The Sunday Times Travel UK – Of the traditional Travel mags my favorite. Beautiful photography and great special pieces on destinations around the world. 


WhaleBone – An independent magazine that publishes I believe quarterly and picks a topic for each issue. The current one is on Water and has articles that vary from Female extreme divers to environmental issues. The one before was on Pizza. 

#Beach and #Pool Essentials #Summer 2017

It’s officially Summer in a good part of the world and here are my essentials for the beach, although if you either don’t have regular access or simply prefer the pool I have you covered here as well. Of note, I have no affiliation with any of the brands mentioned. They are simply brands(of course if any of you are interested in me as a “Brand Ambassador”:) I wear, use and like

Beach-Chair – Quite simply it’s not only more comfortable, but better for reading, writing, if need be working or simply enjoying the views. I like Rio Brands, they make big and sturdy chairs that are comfy at the same time. 

Beach Towel – When I bring a chair I use a smaller lighter one, if it’s for a pool lounger or without a beach chair I’ll go plush. 


Suntan Lotion – Not oil, lotion, don’t leave home without it. I generally use Kiehl’s since it’s water-resistant. WaveHunter is pretty good too.


Aloe Vera – after the beach this is huge…Panama Jacks Green Aloe is very good and Kiehl’s Aloe Vera with Oatmeal is as good or better.


Chapstick– I carry one just in case my lips get beat up…. Kiehl’s makes good ones and I found a brand that makes liquor flavored ones like Negroni.


Bonus Recipe – Lemon Negroni – 2 parts Gin, 2 parts Cocchi Americano, 2 parts Lemoncello. Bitters. Shaken or stirred. Drink. Make another:) 

Ear-plugs/Headphones – Ever sit near some imbecile blasting music on the beach? They should be given a ticket for noise pollution. Don’t be one of them, rock your Beats or in my case earplugs I like RHA’s.


Re-Charger– I got this for travel, but if I’m going to do some work at the beach I bring one just in case. I like the Fluxmob Bolt. Don’t forget your charger cord. 


Waterproof Camera– Whether you’re going snorkeling off the beach, taking pics in the ocean of surfers and rocks or just taking action packed pics in the pool…you need a good Water-Proof point n shoot. My fave is still the Olympus Tough.  



Books/Magazines – For coming, going and chilling out a good beach read is epic. I read a mix of Thrillers and books on the Sea at the beach. For Mags usually something Travel or fitness related. 


Sketch Pad and Pencils – Do something creative. I like to draw so I bring my Weapons of Mass Creation:) 


Sunglasses– the song is great, but cheap sunglasses for your eyes are no good for them. Get a decent pair with UV protection. I like Persol, Oliver People’s, Ray Ban and I’m still rocking my Warby Parkers 


T-Shirt– I prefer some room in my tees for the beach. I have some great ones from Tommy Bahama(see tee on beachchair) in awesome greens and blues. I have a number of Surf tees from all over. I’m also rocking my own Hunters hand painted Tee’s this Summer…shameless plug:) 


Swimsuit – Needs to be quick drying and have a rear pocket(both for a wallet out of water and stash your sunglasses when in it). I like Orlebar Brown, Faherty Brand, Saturday’s, Onia, and Sundek. 

Cargo-Shorts – Drives me crazy these go in and out of season…they are not a fashion item but an essential. I like Polo, Quicksilver and Tommy Bahama’s.


For your Feet- I like either a pair of slip on sneakers like the new limited edition Pilgram Surf + Vans collaboration I’m rocking, Rivera Espadrilles are great for going from the beach to the bar and of course Haviana Flip Flops. 


That pretty much covers the essentials and it all fits in your daypack/beach bag (except the chair:). Additional gear you may find essential includes something to throw, i.e. Frisbee, Football, etc. , I have always have googles for swimming laps when I’m at the the pool(also help in taking underwater pics), Surfboard, skimboard, boogie board, fins etc. A bottle opener and corkscrew don’t hurt either. Enjoy the Summer…

#Passports, Visas, Packing, etc #Travel Things To Know Before You Go

I experience a fair amount of synchronicity. Recently a friend shared that on a trip to St.Lucia a family friend was denied boarding due to his Passport not being valid any longer. It was “good” till July of 2017, the trip was in May of 2017. The next morning in the elevator two girls from my building were discussing an issue with a Passport not being usable due to hole punches in it. 

I put the following piece together to provide some valuable info so you can avoid being a “bad” travel story vs coming back with stories and pics (the photos in the blog are all mine) to share from your next great vacation.


Passport

If you go to Travel.State.Gov it will say your Passport is good for 10 years. Keep reading a few lines down where you’ll see it’s not. Your Passport is not good for 10 years. It’s valid for 10 years…however pretty much every country wants your Passport valid for over 6 months before you leave their border. Thus, if you plan on going outside the country, once it hits 9 years get yourself a new one. I’ve found ItsEasy to be a great service. You can use the Post Office, but I prefer the level of service, especially if you want expedite options. 

Of note, when you get your new Passport, they will send the old one back. It will have Holes punched in it to invalidate it. Even If the date of the Passport has not expired, it is not good any longer. If you try to use it, you will get denied entry. 



Airline Seats

This drives me nuts and I find this practice disgusting. I’m buying a damn seat on the plane…this new scam of charging you another $50 + each way to book your seat at time of purchase is ridicules. If you choose not to, then it’s case by case by airline but generally its 24 hours before the flight to choose the seat and then hoping to not get stuck in the middle or a nightmare at the airport. For the record, I generally wait the 24 hrs before. Great way to kill loyalty, Marketing geniuses. 


VISAS

Visas vary by county. Some you need in advance, others you can get at the airport. For example for Vietnam I had to get it in advance through an agency (I used ItsEasy), though for Cuba I got mine in advance but actually didn’t need to on JetBlue, since when you check in you can buy it. Check out VISA Info for details on major countries and there are links to find info on others. 



Currency

I use my AMEX as much as I can so I don’t have to carry much cash and they get a good exchange rate. I do get some cash in the countries currency I’m visiting before I go, primarily for cabs, tips, and drinks. Most major banks can get the major currencies within a week, but it’s always best to check with them first, some currencies are harder to come by. I use the XE currency app to get approximate rates. Please note, that’s not the rate you will get it’s what the banks are trading the pairs at. They will charge you a % for their services. 



Disease 

Its not just for going on a safari or remote locations in third world counties. Outbreaks can happen anywhere .ie Zika. While planning your trip check out CDC.Gov for what shots and meds you may need. When I went on Safari and on a trip to Asia I used PassportHealth for shots and meds and have been very happy with them. 


Trouble Zones

We live in crazy times. Stuff happens any and everywhere. Always good to check with the State Dept at Travel.State.Gov to see if where you are going has any issues. This is especially important for backpackers and those doing to a GAP year. You  may need to reroute as you go. 


Packing

Stop over-packing. You don’t need half of what you stuffed in your suitcase. Yes, you can wear it again. Buy some wool or capeline t-shirts, underwear, socks and polos. Airlines are charging extra for luggage which is nothing compared to the time wasted waiting for luggage to arrive or having it lost altogether. 

Along with you Basics…


Backpack-Pack stuff in it as your “personal” carry on. Unload it at the hotel and use as your daypack and/or pack an ultra-lite the REI…or Timbuk2 has some small foldable travel bags for use by day or to carry gifts backs. 

Phone Recharger- I like the Bolt. Some new luggage like Away and Raden have chargers built in. Don’t forget the cords for your device or it will be useless. 

Earbuds/Headset. I pack these for survival while traveling. Why? I’m dumbfounded by how many inconsiderate morons either blast their music or movies without a headset, talk on speaker or think giving a kid an iPad without a headset to play a game with the volume on high there are. I wear mine…to save lives. 

Meds- Do not count on getting allergy medicine, pain relief or Prescription meds (that you need regularly)while away. Bring what you need. I carry mine in what looks like a big Tylenol pill

Sunscreen- I always bring my own and put it in a carry-on sized bottle. Many places what they have is lacking or grossly overpriced. 

Bug Spray- If you’re going somewhere where it’s an issue bring your own, you not be able to find it. For Mosquitos I’ll get Deet, but otherwise there are all natural lemon based ones out there. REI and EMs carry them. They do have small carry on size bottles.

Camera- No your phone isn’t a camera, though it makes a good back-up and for use at night in restaurants. For most people I recommend a good point and shoot. I like the Olympus Tough since it’s waterproof to 30ft so I can use in rain or snorkeling. If you’re good or really into it, then get yourself a DSLR or a Mirrorless with the appropriate lens. Don’t forget the recharger and the cords. 

Flashlight and Batteries…doubles as a light in the dark and if need be a weapon😈

Bottle-Opener/Corkscrew(Important Note: The Corkscrew cannot have a blade)- I usually have one, the other or a combo, cause you never know when it might come in handy…

Rain-jacket-I prefer it to an umbrella(can work as a windbreaker as well) but your choice.

Swimsuit – even if you are not hitting the beach, maybe the hotel has a pool, the Chalet has a hot tub or you want to hit a Spa. 

Pen- Yes I know, you’ll just take notes on your phone. Can you use your phone to fill out the Entry documents they give you on the plane…didn’t think so. 

You did remember to bring/pack your Passport and Visa’s right? Have a great trip. Feel free to add additional websites, info, must haves to pack in the Comments section.