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The Mall at Millenia

Red, “Write” & Blue

July 2, 2015

Summer is synonymous with family trips, amazing experiences and lifelong memories.  We asked event and lifestyle expert, Jamie O’Donnell, to share her favorite tips and travel finds so you won’t miss capturing all your favorite moments this summer.

“I’m personally travel-obsessed! My sister and I have been around the world together and have acquired more memories, off-the-beaten-path finds and stories that we could possibly remember if we hadn’t taken time to document all of the amazing moments along with all of the laugh out loud mistakes to look back on!  I have put together some of my travel must-haves and tips to make the most of your trip and document the details you’ll reminisce about for years to come.”

First Tip: Take Notes


Keep a small notebook and pen in your bag so you can jot down train times, names of restaurants other travelers have mentioned were great, interesting facts of where you are visiting, favorite stores you want to visit or in my case revisit. 

Quick Tip: Choose a thin and lightweight notebook and use a new notebook for each trip.  You’ll end up starting your own travel library at home and have all of your travel tips in one spot! 

The John F. Kennedy Limited Edition 1917, $3255

If it’s a special trip, bring along a meaningful pen to document your travels. The special edition John F. Kennedy Limited Edition 1917 pen from Mont Blanc is available as a fountain pen, rollerball or ballpoint pen. It pays homage to his life’s passion of maritime navigation and showcases this from the rigging under the lacquer of the body and cap to the lifebuoy of JFK's Victura, finely engraved on the 18 K gold nib.


Take Note Paint the Town Red Large Notebook, $22


I always love a bright-colored notebook and one that has a great quote on it is even better.  This Kate Spade “Paint the Town Red” notebook gives you 168-pages to fill, a silk bookmark to hold your place and an elastic enclosure to keep it secure.


Microsoft Surface 3, $499


High-Tech Notebook: If you are a tech addict, like me, here is a great, lightweight solution to journal! The Surface 3 is a perfect travel companion without the weight of carrying a traditional laptop. At just 1.37 lbs and with 10 hours of battery life, you can document your entire journey: take notes, (even write directly on screen), snap great pics, record special moments or if you are feeling adventurous find local wifi along the way and plan your trip as you go!



Tip Two: Journal


Don’t assume you’ll remember moments, feelings or even funny mistakes weeks later. Keep a separate journal to record your personal experiences along the way. Write your questions, feelings, surprise moments – good and bad, key learnings of the culture or yourself in your journal and I promise you will appreciate the “Dear Diary” experience when you go back to re-experience your trip!

Sliped-in-Suede Journal, $28


Beautiful memories deserve a beautiful journal like this soft suede journal from Anthropologie.  They offer two sizes, but I prefer the 5” X 8” option at an affordable $28 and the perfect size to keep with me on my trip.


Fitbit Charge Wireless Activity Wristband from Macy's, $129.99


Track your all-day activity like steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes through your trip.  I’m always surprised by how much exercise I got while enjoying myself.  It’s another feel-good moment to journal on your trip.  The charge lets you see every stat as it happens right on your wrist, with a bright OLED display. And, with a battery life of 7-10 days, you can track your whole trip.



Tip Three: Be a Photographer


Make sure to also document the unique elements of your trip like the people, the markets, the landscape and culture while capturing some amazing selfies to send home.  Here are two of my favorite options for instant snap success.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera - Urban Outfitters, $100


The newest mini version of Fuji's super stylish Instax Instant Camera. Features simple exposure adjustment and automatic flash. Easy portability with a pop-out + collapsible lens. Perfect for snapping names of places, interesting facts, favorite restaurants or dishes and putting them right into your notebook pages instead of trying to scroll through hundreds of digital images to find it.

Fujifilm Instax Instant Smartphone Printer - Urban Outfitters, $199


Print up pics from your smartphone in an instant with this Instax instant smartphone printer from Fujifilm. This baby allows for quick and easy Wi-Fi printing from your smartphone or tablet and only weighs 9oz


Tip Four: Organization


Organization is key for having a low stress trip without major surprises so I always make sure to have a great travel bag, a wristlet for running out to the store, a travel document holder so my passport, tickets, insurance, credit cards and frequent traveler cards are all organized in one place and I can put that into the hotel safe while I’m out.

Turnlock Tie Rucksack in Refined Pebble Leather, $495


Fashion meets function: This amazing backpack from Coach is a travelers dream bag with its soft, slouchy design crafted of one of the most supple Coach leathers—finely pebbled, yet exceptionally durable. Equipped with pockets for essentials and adjustable straps for perfect comfort, this easy shape cinches with delicately studded leather ties.


West 57th Monogrammed Travel Portfolio Wallet, $74


The West 57th Travel Portfolio Wallet belongs in every globetrotting Bendel Girl's designer handbag. Crafted with Saffiano leather, this essential travel accessory provides convenient storage for your cash, credit cards, and tickets on any excursion.

Cedar Street Slim Bee, $68


I don’t always want a full purse or backpack if I’m running out to the store when I’m traveling or heading on a walk about the town.  I always pack a small wristlet that I can put some money, a credit card, my phone and a lipstick.  Just the essentials, right?  I love this Kate Spade Cedar Street Slim Bee leather wristlet.  Chic, sleek and travel-worthy!


About Jamie O’Donnell

Jamie O’Donnell, founder of Jamie O’ & Co, is an award-winning celebrity event planner, TV personality and trend spotter who is focused on easy solutions and upcoming trends.

Jamie’s events have been featured on E! Entertainment News and in Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine, The Knot and Smart Money Magazine to name a few.

She is also an event and lifestyle expert to local morning show FOX 35 Good Day Orlando and national morning shows NBC’s Daytime TV and The Daily Buzz. Find Jamie at and follow her on Twitter at @JamieOandCo and Instagram at JamieOandCo

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