Exclusive Savings for Boldfacers readers!

BuyWithMe.com is offering an extra 5% off the Passport deal to Boldfacers readers. Enter the code "Boldfacers" at check-out, and you will automatically be entered to receive an extra 5% off of your purchase!

Pack us up, Jessica!

We’re leavin’ on a jet plane, Jessica Good, oh world traveler. Tell us what suitcase to bring: “You have to start with the right foundation – which is the perfect weekend bag,” says Passport Boutique owner Jessica Good (www.passportboutique.com). “It depends on how much you are going to pack, whether you want a roller or a duffle but whatever you choose make sure to leave enough room so you can bring back some cool things from your trip.  Or, throw in a foldable duffle like the Bric’s X-Bag so you never find yourself having to buy an extra “airport bag” (which you’ll never use again) just to accommodate those last minute purchases. For a long weekend I can’t live without my Matt & Nat Bauhaus bag.  It is the perfect size to fit enough for a “real” long weekend.  I need to bring at least three pairs of shoes wherever I go – and one pair will definitely be of the 4” heel variety.  That takes up a lot of room!  And yet this bag is just the right size to carry on a flight so I don’t need to check anything.  And it has an added bonus - it is 100% vegan and the faux suede interior is made from recycled material – plus, it looks great. For a weeklong trip, I reach for my Bric’s 26” Sintesis EGO trolley.  It has a hard polycarbonate outer shell that weighs next to nothing yet protects everything inside.  The interior has a zippered lid compartment to separate your clothes from your shoes and cosmetics.  It fits a surprising amount and I love its sleek lines and retro appeal. This bag always makes me feel like I am embarking on a fabulous voyage no matter where I’m going.”

The newest, coolest travel gear

“This summer I will bring my Bathing Beauty Bag everywhere I go,” says Passport Boutique owner and world traveler Jessica Good. “It is a drawstring bag that you can pack your swimsuits in so they don’t get lost in your bag but the genius part is the small plastic zip pouch on the side to hold your wet suit.  Who has time to wait for it to dry before cocktail hour? I recently discovered a great item called the Cup Pilot.  It is a portable drink holder that you hook over the closed tray table on an airplane so you can keep your hands free during take-off and for the whole flight.  It also works a double duty by holding anything you want close at hand - headphones, sleep mask etc.  Since I pretty much live with an iced coffee in my hand this is the perfect item to make sure I don’t spill all over myself at takeoff.  When you are traveling look for cool things that could help you pack.  I found the perfect tiny jeweled perfume atomizer in a little shop in Prague and now I use it for every trip because it is the perfect size to throw into my purse.“

A teeny travelin’ tip

“I always encourage people to unpack immediately when they get to their destination,” says Passport Boutique owner and world-class traveler Jessica Good. “And I mean really unpack – hang up your dresses, put things in drawers, line up your shoes in the closet – even if you are only spending a weekend somewhere, it will really make a difference.  The last thing you want to worry about when you are on a trip is finding your bikini bottom in the black hole of your weekend duffle.” 

Boston through a tourist’s eyes

We asked world traveler and Passport Boutique owner Jessica Good what she recommends as the best spots in Boston for her out of Towner friends. On where to lie your head, “The Liberty Hotel (www.libertyhotel.com)in Boston:  Aside from being the go to place for hip Bostonians to meet up for dinner and drinks, the hotel itself is a beautiful re-invention of a famous old Boston jail.  The location is perfect for easy “T” access and you have the shops and restaurants on Charles Street at your doorstop.  The interesting architecture and history of the hotel makes it a tourist stop even if you aren’t lucky enough to stay there.   Ask for a river facing room – the view is amazing.  Plus you can’t go wrong with complimentary champagne at check-in! The Hotel Commonwealth (www.hotelcommonwealth.com) in Boston:  For tourists who want to experience a more neighborhood vibe, the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square is perfect.  The ever-evolving Kenmore Square is around the corner from Fenway Park (ask for a park view room) and BU and only minutes from Back Bay.  Within the hotel are shops, bars and restaurants so you don’t need to go far to entertain yourself.  Added bonus: The Commonwealth is dog friendly so you can bring your favorite four-legged friend with you. And finally, the element hotel in Lexington (www.starwoodhotels.com/element/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=321): Go green (the hotel is LEED certified) and enjoy – the rooms with fully equipped kitchens make this a perfect spot for families as they explore the richly historic area of Lexington and Concord.  The hotel offers all the latest amenities in an earth friendly, eco-chic packaging.  The location will require a car so be sure to rent a hybrid to keep in the spirit! “

Jessica’s favorite out-of-towner restaurants

“I think every visitor to Boston should take a trip to the South End and what better excuse than to dine at the amazing Toro restaurant (www.toro-restaurant.com), says Passport Boutique owner and world traveler Jessica Good. “It’s nice to show out-of-towners that Boston is about more than just the land of chowder.  Toro is my favorite tapas restaurant in the city because they truly make me feel like I am in Spain again.  The atmosphere is warm and inviting and you will definitely make new friends at the big long tables.  Try the Maz Asado and a Caramelized Caipirinha cocktail – you won’t be sorry. I love the Hungry Mother  (www.hungrymothercambridge.com) -- make sure to get a reservation since the restaurant is quite small and very popular.   I love that the menu that features locally sourced specialties like Maine mussels and Rhode Island squid alongside grits (yes, grits!) and boiled Virginia peanuts – and don’t be surprised if the owners stop by your table to check on how you are enjoying your meal. Almost any restaurant in the North End (www.northendboston.com)!  The streets are filled with busy eateries – the ones with the longest lines are generally the best but it’s hard to go wrong and fun to wander around trying to decide which to try.  Don’t be alarmed if the restaurant you walk into looks more like someone’s living room – it’s part of the charm.  After dinner you must stop by Caffe Paradiso (www.caffeparadiso.com) on Hanover Street and grab an espresso and a hazelnut gelato for dessert –yum!”

Jessica’s must-do tourist attractions

“The Skywalk at the Prudential Center is a great place to start.  I love to get a layout of a city before I walk around.  The Skywalk is an enclosed observation deck with killer views and offers a good basic education about the city's history. Take a ride on the Swan Boats (www.swanboats.com) – yes, it is “touristy” but it is the quintessential Boston experience!  On a beautiful summer day, be a kid again, relax and enjoy the ride - then Twitter the pictures to all your friends.  Go to a Red Sox game (www.boston.redsox.mlb.com)!  Even if you are not a huge sports fan you can’t deny that Fenway Park is a good time.  Being one of the oldest major league parks in the country gives it a lot of history.  The park is very small compared to others so be prepared to get to know your neighbor really well.  You’ll be high-fiving each other by the 5th inning.”

Passport Boutique

So summer is just around the corner, the anemic economy is picking up--a teeny bit, anyway--and maybe, just maybe, there are enough pennies in the piggybank to think about a vacation. Well, kiddo, here's good news for you: Boldfacers has teamed up with the new site www.buywithme.com to offer some lovely summer bargains. Our first offering is from the Harvard Square travel boutique, Passport.

Entrepreneur Jessica Good opened Passport last August. A world traveler, she's trekked to Mozambique, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Spain, France, Italy, Tortola, Hawaii, Prague, Switzerland, Berlin and then some. She opened her store, she says, to answer the age-old question: what should I pack? For her upcoming trip to the Maldives this July, she plans to bring a maxi-dress, a light and airy Love Quotes scarf, jeweled Mystique sandals, a colorful Ettika charm bracelet, and a Bree beach bag. Now you can buy those items, and more, on a budget.

BuyWithMe.com organizes group deals so that you can receive exclusive savings of up to 70% off on your favorite things to do in Boston—the best restaurants, shops, spas, events, and experiences.  BuyWithMe.com cherry-picks their merchants to deliver you must-have deals.  You see a deal you like, join in on it, share it, and if enough people join you, the deal goes through. Then BuyWithMe.com quickly emails you a voucher to take in-store and use…it’s that easy.

Here’s how it works: go to www.BuyWithMe.com to sign up, then go to Passport and pick up gift cards that will save you 40 percent on anything in the store (maximum purchase, $150). As a Boldfacers reader, you’ll receive an extra 5% (enter code Boldfacers at checkout). Wrap yourself up in clothing from designers like Rachel Pally or Vince and pack it in bags by Hayden-Harnett and Bric’s. And save money on everything else in the store, from suitcases to beauty bags. The deal kicks off June second—like, today—and runs for a week. So get thee to Passport, Boldfacers! And keep checking this site and the BuyWithMe site for future deals.

Jessica says packing the right stuff for travel is an art, and she has turned that art into a business. The store is dedicated to the traveler in all of us, helping the Europe-bound,  island-bound and land-down-under-bound adventurer to find just the right look. No stranger to the entrepreneurial life (her dad, Frederic, ran a gardening goods store and her mom, Susan, was a consultant), she understands the pitfalls and sweat equity that go with owning a shop. After all, there are also rewards: world travel for work!