7 items not to pack when you travel

By Jessica Marabella

It’s a moment we’ve all experienced when packing for a trip. You stare at items laid out on the bed and ask yourself, “Do I really need that? Or can I get by without it?” If you’re worried that you’ll be miles away from home and inconvenienced by the absence of an essential item, know that you don’t need to bring nearly as many items with you when you travel as you may think. Plan to take your next trip unburdened by extra baggage. Here are seven items you don’t need to pack when you travel.

1. Toiletries

Picking up toiletries once you’ve reached your destination can be convenient and affordable. Especially if you’ve traveled to a city with shops on every corner, you can stock up on items like shampoo, soap, and toothpaste. Your hotel may even stock complementary items in your room. As an added bonus, you won’t need to spend time removing your liquid items at airport security, which means less stress and hassle if you’re rushing to make your flight.

2. That Third Pair of Shoes

Shoes are one of the most frequently over-packed travel items. Whether you’re a fashionable business traveler, or a mom hoping to anticipate her child’s every need, plan to only pack two pairs of shoes per person (including the pair worn while traveling). Bring only your most comfortable pair of walking-around shoes, such as sneakers or boots, and an extra pair of something lighter, such as ballet flats or sandals.

3. A Different Outfit for Each Day

Don’t be tempted to stuff your suitcase full of clothes. It’s perfectly acceptable for you (and your kids) to repeat an outfit on your vacation. Let us repeat: Go ahead and wash and dry your shirts and pants in the hotel laundry room midway through your trip. You can even wash socks and underwear in the hotel sink so they can be reused as well. Which leads us to the next item on our list.

4. Laundry Detergent

We’re all about washing and repurposing your outfits, but leave the detergent at home. If you utilize a local wash-and-fold service you won’t need to provide your own detergent. If you plan to hand wash items, pick-up a single-use packet at the same convenience store where you purchased those toiletries we mentioned earlier.

5. Your Ancillary Electronic Devices

A vacation should be about unplugging from your daily responsibilities and distractions and experiencing something new. Your Twitter stream, email, and game of Candy Crush can all wait until you get home. Save luggage space by only bringing one electronic device on your trip. Your smartphone is likely the most versatile and functional, so leave your laptop, tablet, MP3 player, wireless over-the-ear headphones, and e-reader at home. If you’re traveling for work, confirm with your employer what will be expected of you while you travel, and if access to email on a mobile device is all you need.

6. Your Complete Makeup Set

You may enjoy having access to makeup options at home, but if you must travel with cosmetics, commit to bringing only a basic set. For items like eyeshadow and lip gloss, bring one of each only. More options just mean more weight and less room in your carryon.

7. Beach Toys

If you’re traveling with little ones, don’t waste luggage space on pool or beach toys like inflatables, snorkels, or sand shovels. Your hotel may have sporting equipment or toys available for rent, or you can pick-up an inexpensive pair at a nearby convenience store. Don’t have access to a car? Plan ahead to have a few inexpensive items mailed to your hotel or beach house. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can benefit from free two-day shipping on inexpensive items that you won’t mind leaving behind for the next set of guests.

Whether you’re traveling for work or for pleasure, minimize the strain, cost, and stress of bulky suitcases and bulging carry-ons. Plan to take your next trip without the seven items on our do-not-pack list. Once you realize you fully enjoyed your trip without missing a thing, you’ll be packing lighter, and traveling happier.

Bon voyage.



Jessica Marabella is a writer and communications specialist with over 10 years of experience in content marketing. Originally from Upstate New York, Jessica is an avid traveler working to reach her goal of seeing all 50 states and seven continents.

The joys of working for yourself

By Andrew Rodriguez

Life can’t be all about work- but life without enjoyable work can be plain miserable. The biggest struggle with today’s job market isn’t the lack of jobs- it’s the lack of work-life balance. Live to work is now melting away, work to live is the mantra of the modern entrepreneur. Money is important, no doubt, but time- your own time- is king.

 Thinking Outside the Box

A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers has shown, that second to being an additional way to make money, flexibility is the top appeal of participating in the gig economy. The same report states that “disruption is inevitable,” this is a fact of life in our current times. Gone are the days of a 30-year career at the same company, a gold Rolex gift at your retirement party, and a steady pension thereafter- such a life path is practically unheard of these days. The world is changing, but there is one ancient piece of wisdom that is truer now than it has ever been; knowledge is power.

Knowledge is Money

Here at CityCatt, we’re not asking you to sign up for apartment leases or to put your own car on the line. We’re asking for you to share something much simpler, purer- what’s cool around you? That simple nugget of knowledge you have may be more valuable than you know. A 2014 Google study shows that when leisure travelers first start to plan a trip, 36% of them search for activity related terms first. Only searches for the actual destination and pricing come ahead of searches for terms like “What is cool around X,” “What’s there to do on a Friday night at X,” “Where can I buy the best coffee in X?”, etc. Wouldn’t it be great if you could help mark the X spot on a traveler’s itinerary?

Goals as Unique as You

With CityCatt, you can be as engaged as you’d like to be. Looking to jump all in and start a full-fledged tour guide business? CityCatt will find you the clients you need to give your enterprise a jump start. Do you want a flexible part-time gig after work hours, or maybe on weekends? Guess what times travelers most need a little guidance! Remember, travelers come in all age brackets, so whether you’re a college student who knows where the best breweries in town are or a retiree who’d love to show out of towners some great local architecture, CityCatt will find you the right client with the thirst for your knowledge. You will get out of CityCatt exactly what you put in; a little time and energy for a little extra spending cash, or an elaborate plan to do an overtime hustle to knock out a student loan, final mortgage payment or an item on your vacation bucket list.

Work where you want, Work when you want

Where you live is exotic. Seriously! Mountain hikes are familiar to Coloradoans but exotic to Floridians. How do you visit points of interest in New York City using the subway? Guava pastelito’s are everyday breakfast fare in Miami, but most of you have probably never even heard of them (they’re delicious!). What may seem mundane to you may be exciting, or even intimidating to someone who doesn’t know the local way. You would be hard-pressed to find another quick, easy, flexible way to make money that already plays to your strengths. Be your own boss, explore your world your way, with CityCatt!




Andrew Rodriguez is a copywriter based out of Miami, FL. His interests include history, the outdoors, and any science fiction he can get his hands on. He is a graduate of the University of Miami, where he majored in Biology and Chemistry.

City Catt, who?

We could’ve gone funny, serious, or sarcastic. We chose none of those. Instead, here goes our poetic version of who we are:

The smell of coffee locally grown and freshly brewed, complemented by the just out of the oven secret recipe chocolate chip muffin – the best you’ve ever had. The breathtaking view of the valley, that you can only enjoy after hiking the oldest local trail, that’s best seen right before sunset. The shop that has a selection of handmade items, that find their way into your home because there’s no other place on earth that sells those things.

The cheerful sound of happy children running around the best playground in town, which happens to also be a castle, a boat, a fort, or whatever fits in their imagination. The best spot at the stadium, where you combine the best view, the best acoustic, and the best hot dog vendor.

Oh, the things you can only know when you call someplace your home. Oh, the places you’d like to know. What if anywhere could feel like home?

What if anywhere could feel like home, with a friend, who will unlock all these secrets for you, and let you experience the best, most unique, and most valuable things in each city?

What if on each trip, you’d have the possibility to access insider status, and cross the bridge that divides travelers from locals? What if your visit to a new city could feel like a visit to a friend’s home? No unnecessary lines, no overpaying for things, no lost time trying to find things, no frustration over not finding what you wanted, no disappointment over wrong expectations, no more selfies over portraits. When you connect to the people who call your destination home, then it becomes their job to make you feel welcomed. You wouldn’t be just a traveler, but a guest.

Let’s bring back the element of surprise to traveling. Let’s bring back the possibility of making friends everywhere you go. Friends think alike and like the same things. Let us connect you to like-minded people everywhere you go because someone like you will take you somewhere you like.

Nice to meet you! Enough with the poetry, let’s have fun together!

In charge of our cities

Hometown. If you think about it, the junction of home+town means so much to us. They can get to a point of shaping who we are: our points of view, our teams, our favorite places, our memories. It all comes from our experiences in our hometowns. And that’s why it gets personal when someone tries to change them somehow.

We’ve all had a favorite place from childhood torn down, just to be replaced by some big business parking lot? It’s upsetting, to say the least. As Dennis Schaal, Executive Editor at Skift, says “Tourism development versus the locals is an issue that cities and countries worldwide have to grapple with. There’s no magic formula for striking the right balance.”

Even in tough times, the Hospitality, Tourism, and Service Industries thrive, as people always need a break. So, how can cities take advantage of this economical opportunity without imposing unfair changes to residents, and allowing them to profit as well?

Well… just the other day, your options when traveling were hotels or camping, public transportation or taxis. Startups like Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, and others have changed this and gave ordinary people a chance to have a share of the profitable Hospitality market. People who were used to just observing the changes around them can now participate and profit from them.

The challenge to the cities remains, though. The report “Advances in Hospitality, Tourism, and the Services Industry” highlights the importance for them to work with the locals, in order to identify core values and goals for tourism in their community. Who better than the experts in the communities, a.k.a residents, to establish these goals?

Well, the subject is complex, and there are more questions than answers right now. It’s also very specific to each city and its own issues. But there’s one certainty in all this: residents should care and should participate. Remember, everybody is a resident for some days and a tourist other days. If we choose to be the best at each of these roles, we contribute to a balance between great cities and tourism development.

And you know what’s even better? There’s never been a better moment to take on these roles. “Sharing market startups, like Lyft, Uber, Airbnb and City Catt, give residents an opportunity to profit from the Hospitality market, but also to shape it; and tourists gain access to a much more authentic, smooth and affordable experience”, says City Catt co-founder Lizia Santos. Power to the people! 🙂

The gig of sharing

Let us introduce you to the Gig Economy. When unemployment rates were sky high, between 2009 and 2013, workers started turning to gigs for lack of a better choice. This choice, then, transitioned to a trend. 

A study from Intuit predicts that by 2020, 40 percent of US workers will fall into the category of gig workers. We were already heading towards a much more flexible workforce, but recently another character came into play that turned the gig economy into an even greater game changer. 

Have you heard of the Sharing Market? When the Gig Economy and the Sharing Market meet, it’s like that magical moment in a movie. Think emotional music, dimmed lights, tears of joy!  

In the words of Benita Matofska, from The People Who Share, “whilst the Sharing Economy is currently in its infancy, known most notably as a series of services and start-ups which enable P2P exchanges through technology, this is only the beginning: in its entirety and potential it is a new and alternative socio-economic system which embeds sharing and collaboration at its heart – across all aspects of social and economic life.”

To make it simple, when you put together people who have a need with people who have a solution and facilitate their contact through technology, then you have a classic Sharing Market picture. Startups like AirBnB, Uber, Lyft and many others have made this inovation fairly common nowadays. 

When gigs come through the sharing market, they become meaningful. If a gig consists in resolving a need someone else has:

          1. You’ve got a great market opportunity, since you’ll be fulfilling a need that already exists out there. No need to create one.

          2. You’ll be happy, because helping people brings out the best in us.  

Your pocket will also be happier, since it’ll get fuller without you spending to earn. You know the saying “you gotta spend money to make money”? It doesn’t work like this in the Sharing market. You’ll basically use what you already have to solve other people’s problems. It’s a classic win/win.

For the workers of this new industry, it means they get to work in a flexible, fulfilling way. In turn, consumers get a commodity, quick solutions and affordability. Awesome, right?

Still, a survey published by PWC shows that 56% of the US adult population are not familiar with the concept of a Sharing Market. If it was bad news, it would travel faster. Go figure. But since you came across this article and read it to the end, how about going the extra mile and sharing this good news with the people around you?

You have to agree that there’s no better way to debut in the Sharing Economy than by sharing the good news of its existence. Give the gig of sharing!