Happiness experts tell us that taking a vacation from our routine lives and seeing something new, whether it's being in nature, a different city or rediscovering our loved ones in a different setting, can infuse happiness into our lives. What people often don’t know is that these experts also say that the time leading up to the vacation is what incites the most happiness in us! The weeks, months or even years of pre-vacation planning and dreaming about that “bucket list” trip creates just as much, if not more, happiness for us! 

I, for one, am a HUGE lover of vacations. I love to talk about them, dream about them and plan them. I’ll spend hours researching destinations, hotels, transportation, things to do, sights to see. I have a special American Express card I pay extra for (drives my husband, Mark, nuts) but we get travel benefits: upgrades and “free breakfast”, early check-in and late check out (of course “when available” which it often is). I’ve had it for years (my guilty pleasure) and I’m not giving it up any time soon.

In addition to being co-founder of THE ROUTE, I am the owner of NP Aesthetics, Inc. in Newport Beach. I have treated thousands of people, mostly women (but I have lots of awesome men too) to cosmetic medical skincare and procedures over the last two decades. One of the perks of the job is talking to my patients. I don’t rush, I take my time and don’t double book my schedule. Why? For one, the patient deserves my full attention and for me to be relaxed and not frantic with a waiting room full of anxious patients but mostly because I love to spend time with them. I hear about their families, the ups and downs of life but what I really love is to hear all about their travels. I have heard so many travel stories - from the details that make a trip special, to the many ways and whys to travel. The destinations are endless and the possibilities fill my heart with hope and happiness. 

Now why on earth am I writing about travel during a shutdown amidst a global pandemic? Because I think we all need a little boost right now. I know travel, at least by plane, has nearly come to a screeching halt but I’m pretty sure road trips and staycations are up, up, up!

How do I know? When our annual family trip to Hawaii was finally officially cancelled, I tried to find a dream hotel or vrbo for a road trip. Almost everything (I’d want) was booked! So, I waited until the very last-minute hoping for a cancellation in my top pick hotel and I got one! Our trip was on! I know not everyone feels comfortable traveling right now but we wanted (dare I say needed) this break from Mark’s front line duties and my two job craziness. So we packed up our masks, loads of hand sanitizer, a barrel of antiviral cleaning wipes (for the room) and headed along the California coast for some absolutely stunning views creating memories for my equally amazing family!

Part of the fun of any vacation for me, my friends and my patients is the pre-vacation prep. Now, prepping also includes packing - and packing for some reason, is not my favorite thing to do! Weird because you’d think with this crazy love of travel that would be something I like to do but truth be told, I’m a horrible packer. I pack clothes that don’t fit me for novelty sake, I forget underpants, I plan for hot and it’s cold, not enough shoes, too many bathing suits and I never wear one. You get the picture! One thing I am good at in the packing process… My toiletries. An old fashioned term for my skincare, makeup and other daily essentials (toothbrush, paste etc). What I love even more are the travel size editions of my favorite beauty products! My daughter and I love miniature anything and that’s what travel size products are for me. Mini versions of my go to’s that I really, really don’t want to be without on vacation!

In my opinion (and as an expert in skincare, so this opinion counts) we need to keep up our skincare regimens and routines even more diligently on vacation. Why? Because we are not in our normal environments; the weather may be different or drastically different, we are eating out 100% of the time so there is probably an increase in our consumption of yummy libations! Our bodies get bombarded with new and different things and our skin can take a toll. So we must be disciplined and continue our skin care so that we are not knocked off balance.

That’s why we, THE ROUTE, designed a skincare line that is comprehensive without being cumbersome. I don’t have time at home for a 10-step routine and I certainly don’t want to take up precious vacation time so I’m thrilled we were able to formulate a simple, multi-tasking product line that gives you absolutely everything your skin needs, exactly when it needs it in as few steps as possible. Thoughtful, complete and amazing if I do say so myself!

I packed my mini’s of THE ROUTE (THE EVERYTHING DAY daytime moisturizer, THE EVERYTHING NIGHT nighttime moisturizer, THE GOLDEN RULE gentle retinol serum, THE GIRLFRIEND makeup primer and, of course, THE PARTY PEEL at-home chemical peel) along with my travel size editions of Orible hair spray, St Tropez self-tanner, Euphoria shampoo and conditioner and Mason Pearson brush… then my family and I enjoyed every moment of our Southern California road trip.

As we headed home down the unbelievably gorgeous central coast of California (think Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Cambria) I started dreaming of my next vacation. Even if it’s a long ways away, I’m dreaming of Italy, or Greece or Morocco and just the mere thought of it boosts my spirits!

Try it!

Wishing you health, happiness and beautiful skin always!


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By gleaning insight from her decades of experience working with patients to improve their skin, Nancy has created the exclusive Nurse Nancy™ Complex, a proprietary cocktail of her tried and true ingredients your skin needs in abundance to promote daily skin health.

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