Lauren Monitz | The Down Lo

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Lauren Monitz is a travel/food writer and social media influencer specializing in offbeat adventures you didn't even know were on your bucket list. From becoming a certified viking in Iceland to blackwater rafting in New Zealand, she always seeks out the most insane adventures wherever she goes. On a mission to see all 50 states and at least 50 countries before 50, she has bylines across the web from MSN and the Huffington Post to Eater and USA Today, has done Snapchats for the Food Network, and Instagram takeovers for Forbes.

She has collaborated with 75+ brands in over 20 states and founded the Influencer Institute to teach others how to grow their following and turn their online brand into business opportunities while educating brands on best practices for working with influencers.

Member Since OCTOBER 18, 2018
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End of a decade, end of an era. 2019 was full of many curveballs and where I am now is nowhere near where I thought I’d be at the beginning of the year. In a year that started focused on my career and myself has taken quite the turn with a renewed sense of what really matters. The full recap is live on the blog but I’m confident the best is yet to come.☝🏼 What about you? Did the past year live up to your expectations?

The Best CBD Products for Travelers and Adventurers

It’s been said to improve sleep and muscle tension and comes in a variety of forms from consumables you eat or drink to vaping, topicals, lotions or oils you put on your skin, and even has pet-safe variations to help Fido chill. A sparkling seltzer, it is basically the CBD version of LaCroix that’s all organic and contains 0 calories, 0 sugar and 0 sodium so completely guilt-free. A handmade confectionary that combines the health benefits of cocoa with CBD, this self-proclaimed superfood comes in a variety of crazy (genius) combinations like Caramel Coconut Drizzle, Raspberries and Cinnamon, Pomegranate Vanilla Bean, Peach Hazelnut, and Peanut Butter and Honey that makes it impossible to pick just one favorite. Baths are my favorite way to unwind and combined with the bonus of soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, I think it’s one of the best self-care products for your home or hotel.

Paradise x Jungle Book 🌴 How insane is night mode on the new iPhone? I jokingly call myself a professional iPhone photog because I so rarely travel with a real camera (it’s hard lugging around all the lenses, tripods and accessories and tbh I’m not that great at it). Besides, when phones take snaps like this 👀 do you really think you need one?

9 Press Trip Faux Pas to Avoid

If you have any sort of self-awareness or professional etiquette these may seem like rookie mistakes (and I wish they were) but I’ve seen plenty of professional journalists do these things, too. We all travel a lot, but the client wants to feel special and like they have your undivided attention, not like this activity is something you’ve done or seen 1000x before. A lot of time and effort went into planning that itinerary and the client obviously wants you to do or see x, y, z attraction for a reason so be respectful. I get it, things happen, but a lot of money and prep went into getting you there and while they likely have some type of travel insurance for these instances, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to pay some amount to cover the lost cost.

CBD – the only way to survive the holiday season. #sponsored - Just kidding. But @drinkpresent CBD-Infused Sparkling Water does help with stressful situations, which this time of year inevitably is. From pushy people at the mall to frazzled travelers at the airports, sometimes you just need to remember to take a step back, take a deep breath, and give yourself some “me” time. @drinkpresent is made with completely organic ingredients with 0 calories, 0 sweeteners/sugars, and 0 sodium so I can relax without worrying about what I’m putting in my body – and save the calories for the real feast. How do you alleviate stress during the holidays? #drinkpresent #beherebeyou

The Ultimate Chicago Bucket List for Food and Fun in the Windy City

Chicago’s food, lake, theater, and arts all contribute to the rich cultural tapestry and there are a number of iconic things to do and signature places to eat that are required to have the quintessential Windy City experience. The best homage to Chicago’s greasy mobster days, the Italian Beef is another sandwich the Windy City perfected. When everyone finally comes out of hibernation for the winter, Chicago’s festival season kicks off to celebrate what is arguably the best city in the world for three months of the year. Essentially the pulse of the city, take in the sights and smells wandering around Water Tower Place, visit the largest Starbucks in the world, and snack on Garrett’s Popcorn, another signature Chicago treat (the caramel/cheese mix is the best).

How’s dry January going for you? Do you believe in doing a New Year’s cleanse / reset? Thankfully, with 0 calories, 0 sweeteners/sugar and 0 sodium @drinkpresent is a guilt-free indulgence and a great recovery drink. I have a new blog on my favorite CBD products for jet lag and travelers -- check it out and use promo code MonitzPresent for free shipping through March. #drinkpresent #beherebeyou

Things to do in Phoenix in Winter to Enjoy the Desert Sun

And while there’s something to be said for visiting where everyone wants to retire, you don’t have to succumb to Arizona’s famed R&R just yet (unless of course, you’re into that). With nearly perfect winter hiking weather, the winding garden trails will introduce you to wildflowers, medicinal plants, more cacti than you could possibly imagine, plus 300+ rare and endangered species of flora and fauna native to Arizona. Native American history is a big part of Arizona’s cultural landscape with the Heard Museum an immersive way to educate yourself on tribal life through art and storytelling. Called the Cactus League, more than 200 games are played over the span of a month with fan favorites like the Cubs, Giants, and Dodgers putting on hitting clinics and exhibition games as excited onlookers root for their favorite teams.

Have you ever been disappointed by something you saw on IG? I’m glad we got to see the Great Barrier Reef from the sky but the heart reef itself was a bit of a letdown. It‘s much smaller than photos make it appear and you only get to do one quick loop around it in the heli. Regardless, it’s a tiny blip of this amazing natural wonder everyone should see in their lifetime.

PSA: permits for this magical place go on sale February 1 for the entire year. If you want to go to Havasupai in 2020, check out my blog ☝🏼 for how to score one, exactly what to bring, and how to do this insane, life-changing multi-day hike. Questions?