Courtesy Daniela Degrassi

Courtesy Daniela Degrassi

I get so much joy in helping fellow travel-lovers solve annoying problems and otherwise make their trips easier and more enjoyable. Toward this end, I’m always keeping an eye out for noteworthy innovations that can resolve common annoyances and expedite the fun and functionality of getting from point A to point B. And, of course, I’m ever on alert for fabulous destinations that’ll proffer a pleasurable experience. Here are a few of this month’s finds that fit the bill.

MotoChic Convertible Backpack / Tote Bag ( ) – $325.00
For women who love luxury but need functionality, MotoChic’s super cool gear has you covered. Busy moms like myself love the versatility of the convertible “Lauren” bag that can be worn as a backpack when you’re on the move, and easily switched to a tote bag when you want to dress to impress. It features stylish 100% leather quilting on the exterior, and the bag overall is meticulously crafted to stand the test of time. To convert the bag, the tote straps tuck into magnetic pockets at the top of the bag, and backpack straps are removed from a zippered pocket on the back of the bag. There’s even a water resistant backpack cover in a secret pocket on the bottom of the bag in case it rains, and reflective panels on the front of the bag provide increased visibility at night. The “Valerie” is another great option. This “little black bag” is great for carrying all of your essentials. It’s surprisingly roomy with a pleated bottom that expands to hold: make up, keys, mobile phone, money, credit cards and more. There are six card slots and an interior zippered pocket. The signature MotoChic lining protects against spills and stains. The Valerie bag comes with a nylon strap and a short leather strap. Using snap hooks, the straps can be configured to wear the bag 5 different fashionable ways. Talk about style and versatility all-in-one!

RV Blinds and Shades – Cellular Shade ( )
Before you load the family into the RV, make sure your windows are ready for a road trip with respect to privacy, light control and operability to keep you cool and comfortable.  The experts at Blindsgalore highly recommended cellular shades for the windows in a RV or motorhome. Cellular shades are great for temperature control and, as with everything from Blindsgalore, they’re totally customizable. They’re also soft, so they won’t bang against the window while you’re driving and even come with special brackets to hold them firmly in place. These come in just about any size or color, including blackout fabrics.  Blindsgalore is a small family owned business that is passionate about providing beautiful and affordable custom window treatments and their RV options certainly fit the bill.

T-Rex Tape ( ) – $5.00 – $15.00
Travel experiences like camping can post its fair share of challenges, but T-Rex Tape can handle a myriad of gallivanting glitches with no problem. T-Rex Tape is formulated with super-durable, extra-thick, sun-resistant materials to work longer and hold stronger than other utility tapes, in all kinds of weather. It consists of three different layers that gives this tape four times the staying power, three times the holding power and two times the bite over regular tapes. Its double-thick, super-aggressive adhesive allows the tape to offer superior hold on more surfaces than other ordinary tapes–including rougher and dirtier surfaces in a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels. It’s also is specifically designed with a thick sun-resistant skin which gives the tape its famed holding power inside or out. Be sure to pack T-Rex Tape for your next hiking or camping adventure and you’ll be able to fix anything nature throws your way. Now that’s cool!

Fruit Shoot Juice Drink ( ) – $1.09 – $4.69
On your next travel adventure, take Fruit Shoot along for the ride! This refreshing fruit juice drink, made with real juice from concentrate and with no artificial flavors or high fructose corn syrup, is great to pack in your back pack for fun outdoor adventures. This delicious on-the-go fruit juice beverage bursts with fun fruit flavors and helps kids stay energized when running, playing and exploring. Adults love it too! I also love that Fruit Shoot is encouraging kids to turn off their computers after school and enjoy a fun-filled hour of play. They can refuel with Fruit Shoot afterwards so they’re ready to tackle that homework! They’re available in six delicious variants, including fruit blends like Orange & Mango, Berry Burst and Wild Berry Grape. Find Fruit Shoot at your local Kroger store or check them out online. This cooling beverage is a hot choice this summer.

Organic Night Hydrating Serum & Cleanser ( – $49.00
Hydrate, cleanse and nourish sensitive skin around the face and eyes with the Organic Night Hydrating Serum & Cleanser by Purxury.  The serum also doubles as a cleanser or non-foaming face wash, which can reduce the amount of personal care items you need to pack for those travel jaunts. So cool! Key ingredients include Organic Jojoba, Olive Leaf, Organic Rice Bran, Watercress and Purely Harvested Rosewater, plus vitamins A, C and D among others. Purxury’s products are made in small batches with natural, sustainable and/or organic ingredients that are never mass-produced. They aspire to bring the natural beauty present in everyone’s skin, body and hair to the surface with high quality ingredients. It’s especially great for mature skin; simply apply at night and wake up with skin that’s naturally glowing and soft.

Fairmont Newport Beach ( ) – Rates Vary
The centrally located Fairmont Newport Beach is a luxury hotel option that’s perfect for soaking in the sunny SoCal climate while benefitting from hot travel packages.  Just a short drive to theme parks including Disneyland Resort, world class shopping, award winning dining and OC beaches, this posh property is ready to pamper you. When you’re motivated to leave your well-appointed suite, check out TheSpa Santé—the hotel’s on-site urban oasis offering a full range of luxury spa and salon treatments, including hair, nail, massage, aromatherapy, and skincare services.  With more than 8,000 square feet of space, TheSpa Santé features eight decadent spa treatment rooms. I myself have enjoyed TheSpa’s “combination massage” (a mix of deep tissue, stone, Swedish and other methods), which left me feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. The skill of the massage therapist was impressive, especially adeptly switching between styles without awkward pauses in service. I also tried the “glam glow” facial that, aside from soothing my spirit, made my skin noticeably fresher and more refined from the moment the facial was complete. If outdoor activity is your thing, the Fairmont Newport Beach offers many complimentary leisure activities such as yoga, fitness apparel (“Fairmont Fit”), BMW Bikes, Taylor Made golf clubs and dive-in Movies at their cabana-flanked pool deck where food and beverage service is readily available. Be sure to enjoy a cool frozen cocktail while you’re there! Speaking of, foodies like myself will appreciate the two on-site dining options: Citrus, which offers a wide selection of culinary choices to satisfy any palate (including a fabulous breakfast buffet on the weekends), and AVO—an eatery offering locally Southern California-sourced seasonal menus, from burgers and bites to welcoming entrées.

****FUN FACT: In 2011, Fairmont Newport Beach saved their current hive of honeybees from extermination when they were found “swarming” in the hotel’s ground-level parking lot. The hotel’s beekeeping partner, Backyard Bees, rescued the bees before relocating them to a safer home on the hotel’s rooftop. Today, this is the only hotel in the area that has both honey bees and a bee hotel that hosts wild mason bees.  These bees are considered part of the “Fairmont Family” as they create flavorful and savory honey that the culinary team uses throughout the hotel. The bees can be viewed through the windows on the 6th floor landing.  Totally cool!


“The Luxe List” Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted at . Follow her on Twitter here:  and Facebook here: .

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided and/or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***