5 Things to Know Before You go White Water Rafting In Leigh River

This Saturday I had the opportunity of going on a white water rafting trip that was hosted by Boom-Boom Entertainment NYC. This was my second time going and it was just as exciting as my first. The Leigh River, which is located in the Poconos, is approximately 2.5hrs away from NYC. The River itself is 19 miles long and we spent approximately 3-4 hours on the water. Unlike the first time, I was better equipped both physically and mentally the second time around. Below is a list of five things that are an absolute must if you are planning your first white water rafting trip.


Getting a good night’s rest the night before is the first step in preparing for your day on the river. Rafting, similar to hiking and cycling, is an outdoor sport, and like everything else there will be risks. You will need to be alert and not fatigued in order to enjoy the entire trip. Remember you will be actively paddling for at least 4hrs, and if you are not someone who exercises regularly, you can become worn out early. We had to meet the team at 6 AM, in order to depart by 7AM and check in on time for the trip down the river.


Since it is summer, flip flops are a big part of our daily wear. However, it’s best that you wear footwear that can be secured. Sandals that have a strap that goes around your heel would be best. Water shoes would be great as well as an old pair of sneakers. I preferred the sneakers as it provided better protection against rocks. You will not be permitted to get into the rafts with loose fitting sandals, crocs or flip-flops.



Bring a change of clothing, because the chances of you getting wet is 100%! A t-shirt and a pair of shorts are your best bet. Also, keep in mind that you will be out in the sun for 3-4hrs. So, full body coverage with sunscreen with SPF 15 or more is recommended. An old baseball cap and sunglasses with straps (they will fall) will also be helpful. Wet suits are available for rent on site for approximately $20.img_9019


Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to know how to swim to participate. Everyone is provided a personal flotation device that must be worn securely during your trip.

                                                               Travel lightFullSizeRender (1)

Keep in mind that the rafts are small, typically only have room for 5-6 people, and does not have room for much else. A small snack and water can be brought on board and will be kept in a water-tight sealed container on the raft. Everyone’s lunch is stored in the same bucket, so do not bring any overly large containers. We each brought a sandwich, bag of chips and a 16 oz. water bottle, and all fit perfectly. Do not bring anything on board that is not water proof or cannot be tied to your person.IMG_9023

White water rafting is definitely one of those repeat experiences that I plan on doing at least once a year. If you’re in the NYC area, I definitely recommend contacting Freddie from Boom-Boom Entertainment NYC, who coordinated our trip. Total cost of the trip was $110/pp. which included round trip transportation in a private bus, rafting on the river, a souvenir, breakfast, unlimited snacks and beverages en route to and from the city, as well as lunch. The cost for the trip if you decide to travel on your own is $60/pp, so it comes out much cheaper if you contact Boom-Boom entertainment. I also hate driving and after being on the river all day, I could not imagine having to drive back down to New York on my own.FullSizeRender (2)

What’s in my carry on: The essentials

When it comes to traveling, what you chose to pack and how you pack dictates how comfortable the flight will be. I used to over pack to the extreme, which not only added extra weight to my luggage and luggage fees, but made traveling exhausting all together.

Now that I have a tad bit more experience with traveling, it has become easier to organize myself even last minute. Here is a list of my carry-on essentials.

  1. The bag

The most important part of the carry on, is the bag itself. I have been using this Michael Kors oversize tote for quiet some time now. When choosing a carry on, pay close attention to the size and length of the straps. Always chose one that gives you the option of being able to carry it by hand and the ability to through it over your shoulder when you need your hands free. The strap should also be thick and wide enough as not cause any pinching in the shoulder, which will lead to discomfort.

2. Media/technology

I usually only carry my Ipad as oppose to a laptop, as it is much lighter and convenient, basically has the same function, and God forbid gets lost or stolen, is a much cheaper loss than an expensive Mac book. It also holds my Audible books, games and music. I also carry my Iphone, the cords for each device and most importantly a backup battery pack. There is nothing worse than getting off the plane and hunting for an outlet to charge a phone or tablet. This portable charging wristlet is one of my prized travel possession, not only is it wide enough to carry my keys, lip gloss, and phone, but it is also comes equipped with an external charger and charging cord, which means that your phone can be charging while it is tucked safely away in your bag.

use this link and get a similar one from Amazon

3. Camera

When I started blogging I was a bit shocked when I realized the vast difference between “professional” photos and those that I posted. To up my photo game and after much research, I purchased the Olyumpus OM-DE- M10 Mark2. Which provides excellent image quality and having the capability to catch the finest details and sharpness even in difficult lighting, and is great for novice shooter like myself.

4. A change of clothes

While we never wish for it to happen, it’s always a good idea to pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag, just in case your checked luggage gets lost. Keep in mind the weather of of your destination. A pair of jeans, a t-shirt and change of underwear, should be sufficient.

5. A Good book

Usually a magazine or E-book is helpful in getting through long flights after you’re exhausted from watching movies. Check out Audible Membership for the latest titles.  Two of my favorites are Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibuscus, both written by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieI also never leave home without my planner, as I like to stay organized, even while vacationing.

6. Comfort

I have a cosmetic bag, that I refer to as my comfort bag. In it I carry my earphones, hand sanitizer/ wet wipes, hand lotions, eye shield (for napping), medicine, ear plugs, as well as compression socks to help my legs through those long flights.  A comfy blanket and neck pillow are other essentials.
 I got these from Amazon.

7. Sunglasses

Rather then looking for a bathroom to reapply makeup in order to feel refreshed after flying, I usually just throw on a pair sunglasses. This will hide any newly acquired dark circles from the flight, and have you stepping off the plane like the celebrity that you are.

8. Passport holder

A pretty passport holder to keep bag claims , and boarding pass are essentials as well as a healthy snack.


What’s in you Carry on? comment below.

Go to @travelingsistaz for a chance to win one of these travel essentials

21 Happy things :-)

  1. The sound of children laughing
  2. The smell of fresh baked bread
  3. Standing on a white sandy beach looking into crystal Blue Ocean
  4. Free drink from Starbucks
  5. Conclusion to a grueling semester
  6. 4th of July BBQs
  7. Getting lost in a book by your favorite author
  8. Binge watching a newly discovered Netflix series
  9. Completing that annoying level on candy crush
  10. Supportive feedback from fellow
  11. Sound of the rain, while I am under my blanket
  12. Completing all my chores, and still having time for a nap
  13. Naps
  14. Deep tissue massages
  15. No traffic
  16. Mystery shows
  17. Ignorant TV
  18. Smell of rain
  19. Homemade spaghetti
  20. Count down to Vacations
  21. Receiving hand written love notes

Yellow Plush Toy

Name your happy below

*Inspired by a fellow blogger

use code TRAVELSISTAZ25 for 25% off your purchase

5 ways to save money for your dream vacation.


  • Research
    1. Choose where you want to go, and find out their peak season and chose dates that do not fall during that time frame. The key to finding the cheapest air tickets is to identify the season with the lowest passenger demand. Visiting during the least popular times, tend to be less expensive.Sign up for a few email alerts from travel companies and airlines that share flash sales and limited-time-only offers. You’d be surprised at the deals you can find.        Don’t sleep on sites like Groupon… check out this deal!
  • Vacation savings account  

A trip to the beach could be in your future, so start saving now..

  1. Open up a separate account just for vacation, and designate a fixed amount that you’re willing to put away every month towards that dream vacation.
  • Cut back on luxuries like eating out
    1. Going out to eat French food at the pricey French restaurant in your city VS. saving enough to eat French food in FRANCE…?
  • Sell your used items
  1. That expensive pocket book that you were crazy enough to spend your entire Tax refund check on three years ago, may be worth a 3 day vacation to the Caribbean.

Get another Gig

  1. As a nurse I used to pick up an extra shift per month and save all the extra money towards my yearly vacation. A lot of fellow bloggers said that they started driving Uber. I hate driving, so this was not much of an option for me.

Travel Folding Soft Toothbrush (2 Pack) by GUM

How to pack for that getaway in 5 minutes.

So you’ve done your research, and booked your vacation of your dreams, now for one of the dreadful parts of traveling-the packing.

In the ideal world, we would be able to travel with that cute 5 piece matching luggage set. Not pay for our overweight baggage and have a handsome bellboy waiting for us at the destination airport to help us push them all around. I’ve travelled a lot, and sadly the odds of this happening is slim to none. what I’ve learned though  in my novice traveling years is that, not only can over packing be expensive, as more and more airlines are starting to charge for luggage. Some, like our so lovely Spirit airlines, who even charges for carry-ons. If paying is not a problem for you, think about the strain of pulling, pushing and lifting that you will have to endure with all that extra weight. By the time I returned home, I would be so sore that I was ready for the next vacation.

After much trial and error, I am now a pro (well almost), at packing light and keeping that extra $25-$50 baggage fee my pocket for souvenirs or towards the next getaway.

  1. Plan
    1. Try and plan your outfits. Think about places that may want to dine, what will be necessary for your excursions and build your suitcase/bag around those items. Also, it is always wise to check out the local weather. Both morning and night, as I learned in my recent trip to Dubai (check out my previous post “Things I wish I knew..”)
    2. What to bring Shirts or dresses

should only bring enough for each day of your trip minus three. Pants: a pair of jeans for every other day minus 2.

    • Shoes: two pairs of casual shoes (ie a pair of sandals and a pair of sneakers) and a pair of formal kicks. Ladies, you do not need a pair of shoes for each outfit. Try to only bring clothes that can be worn with the same shoe. I once traveled to Dominican Republic with a suitcase full of shoes, and returned home having worn none.
    • Undergarments: I am sure mom has already conditions us for this one. Remember to pack a clean pair of socks, undershirts, and underwear for everyday of your trip. When packing, Pack as many socks and undergarments into your shoes as will fit, then set the shoes in the bottom of the bag. This will not only save space, but will serve as the first layer of your bag and provide protection from all the bumps and bruises the bag will surely endure during transport.
    • Toiletries: If you’re planning on putting your toiletries in your carry on, remember that it must be able to pass through security, be sure to get everything in travel-size bottles and pack them per TSA regulations. If the plan is to check them in, your best bet would be to put them in a zip lock bag, this will help you conserve space, and protect the rest of your luggage in the event that one of the bottles, break open during travel.

3. Packing

Now that you’ve laid out all that you want to bring, here comes the hard part. Getting it all to fit in the least amount of luggage and still having room left for the return souvenirs. When it comes to cramming all those clothes, there are only two good choices, folding vs. rolling. Folded clothes are less likely to wrinkle but will end up taking up more space in the luggage. On the other hand, when rolled up, clothes are more likely to arrive to your destination wrinkled, but will only take up a fraction of the space compared to when they are folded.

So, when choosing clothes try and stick to Soft, wrinkle-resistant materials like knits, wool, and cotton as they can all be rolled without much concern. Keep in mind that each item should be rolled tightly as loose rolling will result in wrinkles, regardless of the material. Starched garments like collared shirts and dressier items should always be folded. Combining both rolling and folding should be enough to let you cram everything in your bag, with left over space and still avoid looking a hot mess while vacationing.

When placing all of your items in the bag, your best bet is to think of it like baking a cake.

The first layer or crust, should be the shoes stuffed with undergarments.

The second layer in your bag, on top of your shoes, should be all of your heavier rolled items such as jeans, sweaters, and towels. This should be followed by any fragile items that aren’t being brought as carry-on. Expensive items such as laptops, cameras and jewelry go here. By placing them on top of the heavy rolls like towels and jeans, they will be more likely to arrive to your destination in one piece. Think of this as the fruit filling.

The next layer (soft crust) should consist of lighter rolled items like t-shirts swimwear.

On top of them, place your folded items. If possible, keep them in a dry cleaning bag. This will help minimize wrinkle and provide easy access to them once you arrive to your destination, allowing you to unfold and hang them right away.

Last, on the very top, you place the toiletries.

Now you’re ready to roll!

Really, roll those bags to your nearest airport and get going!


Copyright © 2017 by travelingsistaz.  All rights reserved

Things I wish I knew before I started to travel.

After my first trip, it was like I an addict getting their first hit. I was addicted. I constantly looked for the next place, the next ocean, next volcano to book. Though I’ve only been to 11 countries (not many when compared to true travel connoisseurs), some days I feel well traveled and can be travel guide to the United Nations, and then I travel to another corner of the world and realize how much more I need to learn. For those of you who are preparing to take that first “hit” of travel, I have prepared this post to shed some light on the few things that I have learned on my travels.


Be prepared

Benjamin Franklin said it best, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Vacations can be quiet expensive and the last thing you want is to return home, more stressed than when you left home. When planning a trip overseas Google should be come your best friend. Take some time to learn common phrases in the local language. Being able to say “where”, “thank you”, and “good morning”, can actually take you a long way. Local are often impressed by the fact that you made an attempt at connecting with them by learning these common phrases.

Be cultural aware 

    Familiarize yourself with the local language, money and culture. It is important for you to know a little of what is appropriate behavior for sex, age and even race. For European countries like France, where nude beaches are as common as Starbucks in New York, the cultural concepts such as nudity is quite different when compared to a middle eastern country such as Dubai.


        I learned this lesson the hard way. Always bring a jacket. No matter what your encyclopedia says about local climate, bring a sweater or even jacket will be a smart idea. No matter the destination, somewhere along the way, you will wish you had a jacket. The airplane AC on the plane may prevent you from catching up on some sleep, the temperature may drop unexpectedly. During my recent trip to Dubai I was surprised to learn just how cold it can become at night. It was borderline freezing! (Then I remembered 6th grade earth science, deserts are hot during the days average 100F and can drop at night to an average of 25F) Also, you may decide to take a tour of holy sites such as churches and temples, and for that, you’ll need something to cover your shoulders in order to be allowed in.


    Traveling is one of the most memorable experiences of your life, but memory is often fleeting. Capture your travel experiences in a journal or blog, Video. Photos. Letters. Postcards. Anything! so you go back and revisit them throughout the years. Looking back I wish I took more videos/pics of my earlier travels.

Have the proper documentations!

    Before even booking your trip, take a look at your passport. Make sure your passport is valid and not going to expire at least 6 months after your scheduled return. If you’re planning to visit a country that requires a visa such as Cuba or India, add that to your travel budget and get your Visa in advance. Certain countries may even require vaccinations that are not necessary here in the US. Check with your doctor, and make sure you’re caught up on our routine vaccines, as well as those of the country you plan to visit.

Pack light

    When I first started traveling, I would actually drag around two suitcases, no matter how long the trip is. One for shoes and one for clothes (yeah, I know). Like everything else in life, leave your baggage at the door (well not literally). An oversized suitcase (or suitcases in my case) may seem necessary to hold everything you need, until you realize, that’s you don’t need it. Pack smart. When packing bring things that can be worn or used in multiple ways, and do not take up too much space. A scarf can be worn as a head wrap, used as a light blanket or a pillow cover. Pack several times. Each time removing non-essentials, until you’re left with only what is absolutely necessary. Depending on where you’re headed, chances are if you forget or run out of something you’ll be able to replace it.

Some of the essentials: Jackets, Scarf/blanket, Earplugs, Charger, Camera and lots of cash as you may not have access to an ATM.

Be prepared to be an ambassador of where you’re from

    Like it or not, you may find yourself representing your home. No matter how hard you try to blend in the locals will be able to spot you a mile away. With that in my mind be somewhat prepared to entertain questions about politics, culture, money, fashion and even racism. During my trip to Dubai December 2016, all the question were concerning the recent presidential election. Depending on what they have been exposed to regarding American culture, some of the questions may surprise or even offend. On one little island in the Caribbean I was once asked “How many times have you been mugged”, once the locals found out that I was New Yorker. You don’t have to entertain every question, but keep in mind they want to learn you’re your culture as much as you want to learn about theirs

The fun part is up to you

    During my early trips, I had a list for everywhere I went of all the things I wanted to try and do. I did not complete all my tasks I will return home disappointed. Until I realized that I need to live in the moment. If I didn’t get to see a monument a wade in a river that was ok. My being preoccupied with my list I missed a lot of other wonderful experiences. Eventually, I realized that it was okay if I missed something, or ended my trip early, or extended it for longer, or spent the whole.


    Just go! You will never be know everything, but you will never get there until you leave.
      When in doubt, travel.