Traveling can be exhausting. Whether it’s an early train ride to the next city or the third full day of touring the Louvre, sometimes even non-coffee drinkers need a pick-me up in the form of that caffeinated nectar of the gods.
Ordering coffee outside of the US can sometimes be a bit tricky for travelers – but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself enjoying some of the best stuff on earth, and it can be a rewarding way to make connections with locals. So here’s a brief overview of how to order coffee at a few stops around the world.
The coffee in France is pretty similar to coffee options in the US. The most common drinks are:
Cappuccino – Espresso with steamed milk and lots of frothy foam on top
Latte – Espresso with steamed milk and a small amount of foam on top
French Press Coffee – This is your standard black coffee, but instead of using a drip coffee method, cafes in France commonly use a French Press.
If you’re dairy free, most cafes in France will have soymilk available and are happy to use it for any drink. However, other dairy alternatives such as almond, coconut, and cashew milk are not as popular as they are in the US.
The specialty in Greece is a Greek Coffee. They grind the beans into a very fine powder and brew it in a narrow copper pot creating a thicker liquid with a bit of coffee froth at the top. This drink is very strong! It’s meant to be sipped over a nice long coffee break or morning breakfast.
The Greeks are also big on cold coffee. Pretty much any drink will have the option of being made as a cold beverage. One cold drink that is especially popular is the frappe. Much different than an American frappe, Greek frappes are cold whipped coffee. They are prepared in a special blender and come in a tall glass with a think layer of coffee froth on the top. They are delicious!
If you’re not a fan of dairy, most cafes in Greece offer coconut milk as a dairy alternative. This works really well in frappes (it even tastes better than regular milk!), but not as well in hot drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos. Even if you’re a big fan of dairy, we suggest giving a coconut milk frappe a try — you just might love it!
Australia does not have regular drip coffee that we are used to in North America. If you try to simply order “a coffee”, the barista will look at you like you have three heads — trust us on this! But the good news is, if you know what to order you’ll probably get the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
Here are the basics:
Flat White – Similar to a latte but with less foam. This is a staple drink in Australia.
Short Black – Straight espresso. Hello, caffeine!
Long Black – This is akin to an Americano. Simply espresso and hot water.
Mac (short for macchiato) – Espresso and a little bit of cold milk.
They also have the standard cappuccino, mocha, and latte.
For ordering coffee in India, our best advice to you is: good luck! Coffee in India is not all that common, although it is getting more and more common in the tourist areas and big cities such as Bombay and New Delhi. When you order coffee, more times than not you’ll get a stale tasting cup of drip coffee.
In lieu of coffee, Indians prefer a special black tea with milk and sugar called chai. The tea has caffeine in it and is quite delicious.
If you are in a big city or you stumble on one of the newer coffee shops that have popped up in recent years, then you may be able to get a nice cup of coffee. But when in India, we suggest giving Indian chai a try instead.
If you’re curious about how to order coffee – or anything else – on your dream vacation, there’s no better person to ask than your travel agent. When you hire a travel agent who knows and understands the place you want to visit, they can fill you in on specific travel tips like these because they’ve been there and have the inside scoop on where to stay, where to play, and what to eat! Use the tool below to find a travel agent for your next vacation. And don’t forget to ask about the local coffee.
Most people want to take at least a few photos on their vacation, but not everyone wants the fuss of packing and keeping track of an extra piece of electronic equipment.
Have you considered leaving your digital camera at home and simply using the built-in camera on your smart phone?
Here are a few reasons why using your phone might be the best thing that ever happened to your vacation photos.
It’s always with you. Always. When you travel, your smart phone is likely already serving several purposes beyond just being a calling device. It’s a watch. A GPS. A weather-checker. An email and social media connector. A music library. It’s unlikely you go many places without it, and it’s second nature to just have it on hand. (If you’re like many people, the challenge of owning one of these devices is actually limiting how much time you spend on it.) How many times have you gone somewhere and accidentally left the camera in the hotel room or in the car? Using your phone can help ensure that you’ll have a great camera handy when those moments-to-remember come up.
It takes surprisingly high-quality photos. Lots of people are shocked by this. Most phones now have an 8 megapixel (or higher) camera. That’s high-resolution enough to get a clear 20” x 24” print!
No messing around with memory cards or uploads to your computer. You always have the option, of course, to upload your photos at any time to your computer. But with your smart phone, you can also instantly upload images to Facebook, send them in an instant message, email them to yourself or others, or back them up on the Cloud. No cords or plugins required.
Interesting apps galore can make your images look pro in no time. Free apps like Instagram and cheap apps like Hipstamatic ($1.99) are used by millions of hobby and professional photographers every day. You can crop, add frames, apply filters, and share your photos right from the app itself, plus edited photos are automatically added to your phone’s photo library. There are hundreds of photo editing applications available. You never know: you might be inspired to get more into photography through your mobile device than through an actual camera!
A cool photo finish. In addition to being able to send any photo in your phone’s photo library to any camera shop or retailer (like Target or Walgreens) to be developed in regular 4x6 prints, Instagram’s unique square format makes for beautiful, artistic prints, too. Check out MixTiles — a free app that allows you to select and order three professionally-printed images from your Instagram library that are mounted on lightweight 8” x 8” backer board for easy hanging — all for just $49. Each additional tile after that is just $9.
A 21st-Century take on the “wish you were here” postcard. You can send personalized postcards to friends and family in less than 30 seconds – without stamps or trying to find a post office. Postagram is a free app that lets you upload vacation images from Instagram, Facebook, or your phone’s photo library and then add a short personal note. You enter the recipient’s address, and voila! — Postagram prints your photo and message on high-quality glossy paper and mails it directly for you. It is a fast, convenient, and personal way to keep in touch with those you love while you’re away.
Gone are the days of grainy, tiny images on small screens. Today, even those who consider themselves photo enthusiasts love the convenience and creative challenge of using their phones to capture their most treasured photographic moments. With all that your smart phone can do, maybe this is the year to take your vacation photography to new heights!
If you have your phone ready, I’m ready to help you find the perfect place to start taking pictures! You can contact me today to help you start planning your summer getaway – just click here!
Dreaming about your next holiday has taken on a new meaning since the outbreak of Covid-19. Many of us are missing holidays and facing uncertainty as to when we might travel again. Thankfully there are ways we can travel, albeit vicariously, via technology, from the comfort of our armchairs. And the best bit? There’s no queueing!
Here are some ideas to get you started;
Virtual tours have never been so popular. No need to put on shoes, figure out which ticket option is best, or even change out of your pajamas because, with just a few clicks, you can be roving around a myriad of famous attractions.
Virtual tours are one thing, but how about live-action? There are a surprising number of webcams around the globe.
Have you ever seen the Trevi Fountain this quiet? SkylineWebcams have cameras pointed at some of the most famous attractions and city views around the world. You can search by country and city location or browse top viewed beaches and cityscapes.
WebcamTaxi is another network of global webcams that you can search by country, city, and browse by location on a map. Want to watch the giraffes at Melbourne Zoo or see who’s out and about in Times Square? Big brother is there for you.
Once you’ve assured yourself that everyone is staying at home, you can go on a virtual safari. There’s far more action at Tembe Elephant Park and Tiger Lake. Explore.org has live cams pointed at everything from kitten and puppy rescue to nursing spoonbills, manatees, bobcats, and penguins.
Fact and Fiction
How many times have you watched a film or TV series and wondered about the locations? There’s some great action, drama, and fantasy with locations that have inspired thousands of vacations. In the interests of research, watch;
Make The Most Of It
Some travelers have made up for missing their holiday by trying to recreate their vacation in their front room or backyard. Why not?
You can camp out in your backyard, or get dressed up, dim the lights and go to Broadway or The National Theatre in London.
Recreate your favorite cuisine; learn to cook Thai, Mexican, French, Italian.
Learn or brush up on your language skills. Duolingo offers free language classes that are surprisingly easy to get into. The major languages are all there plus some unexpected ones like High Valyrian and Klingon.
You can also use the time to get the most out of your camera. Both Udemy and SkillShare have some great resources aimed at improving your travel photography skills. Your subject selection will be limited to what you can find within the limits of your restrictions. However, you might find that the results will give you a new perspective and appreciation of what’s around you.
Combine using your camera with some walking or follow a plan to improve your fitness, ready to get the most out of an active vacation.
Whatever you choose, use the time to plan, and stay safe by following health advice.
Ready to start Planning, Book a Complimentary Exotic Travel Planning Session Here
Journalists are used to making a home anywhere. They often stay for days, weeks, or months in a place to report on a specific event. They stay in hotels and homes. They get to know language and locals. They walk the landscapes, eat the food, learn the transportation systems.
But what are the places that have so utterly captured them that they return, again and again, even when there’s no story going to print? Here are a few, highlighted in a recent Guardian article.
If you’re the adventurous trekking type, consider the lesser-known but breathtaking mountains of the Jalori Pass in India. You can book a fully-accompanied mountain treks — complete with air mattresses and ponies that carry all your gear — and costs include equipment, food, lodges, and expert guides. Take in the mountain vistas, forests, high meadow lakes, and centuries-old temples where pilgrims pray. It is a place, as journalist Emma Graham-Harrison says, that is “surprising, always beautiful, and entirely special.” In the vast landscape, taking it all in, passing few people along the way, she said she and her fellow travelers “were happy to be out of contact and suspended in time.”
The Seychelles are probably the most widely known African islands for romantic beach vacation. But like a sweet little secret in the Atlantic, the tiny twin-island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe. sits peacefully tucked in the Gulf of Guinea. Known for its cocoa production, this place also attracts outdoor enthusiasts who come to enjoy the pristine bays and beaches, the heart-stopping beauty, the amazing cuisine, and the unique populations of rare birds and butterflies.
Very sparsely populated, the islands still boast a number of luxury hotels. With the interesting mix of African and Portuguese histories (the islands were formerly a Portuguese colony, and they are dotted with many now-defunct cocoa plantations), there’s an ease to the pace of life, and a fantastic, rich culture to enjoy. As a honeymoon destination, it rivals many of the more well-known islands — and it has the added advantage of not being overcrowded. As one traveler put it: “Between lunches of grilled red snapper on the jetty, I passed my days snorkeling amid shoals of tigery-looking fish, kayaking to distant beaches and falling asleep to the ebb of the tide on my own private beach. I was in danger of setting up shop here...”
Now that Cuba is on more people’s travel radars, it’s a great time to explore this lush, extraordinary place. Playa Bacunayagua, Cuba is an absolutely charming location which sits quietly along the northern coast of Cuba. From any larger hotel in Havana, it’s easy to hire a guided car to take you to Bacunayagua. Along the way, you can stop by any number of roadside piña colada stands and enjoy a leisurely cocktail made from palm-fresh coconuts, cream, and pineapple.
On the way to the playa, you’ll cross the tallest bridge in Cuba — the Puente de Bacunayagua — which at over 1,000 feet long and over 300 feet above sea level, is rightly considered a marvel of civil engineering. The coastline, once a well-known pick-up point for boats smuggling Cubans to Florida, now holds plenty of undisturbed beaches that look out onto pristine, azure waters. It’s a perfect day trip and a wonderful way to see all that Cuba has to offer.
Are you looking for a perfect vacation that has all the thrill of a popular tourist destination, but that feels like a secret hideaway just for you? If that’s what you’re craving, I can help you get there! Together we can discover a place that you’ll want to return to again and again. Just click here to get in touch with me today.
For any person who loves to travel, who loves the freedom of being able to go almost anywhere, who sees the world as a beautiful place to be explored — this is likely a time of some discomfort and uncertainty.
It is, of course, good to be wise. It’s smart to listen to experts and make necessary preparations.
Many of us are having to adjust our businesses, our budgets, our schedules --
and for many of us, that might include huge changes to vacations, destination weddings, honeymoons, reunions, and other getaways we’ve been looking forward to for months.
I want to say: I’m sincerely sorry for the upheavals. I’m feeling them, too.
And I also want to say: there is hope, and there is so much great stuff to look forward to.
There will be a time when this uncertainty will be resolved and the fear will lift.
While we’re doing our part to keep ourselves and our communities healthy — practicing social distancing, being conscientious about washing our hands, staying home, not touching our faces — we can also experience the excitement and joy of making future plans.
Four quick things to know about travel in the coming months:
Right now, it is a season of stillness, of staying close, of appreciating all that we have right in our own homes. It’s in our best interests to accept this temporary shift. We have a unique opportunity to be of service to one another in ways we maybe haven't imagined before.
And just imagine how incredible it will feel, when the time is right, to stretch our wings, set off across oceans and mountains and miles, and make the whole wide world our home again.
I am sending all my best wishes for health, healing, happiness, and hope for you and your loved ones in the coming weeks and months! If you have any questions about your travel plans, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
For some people, a dream destination pops easily into mind: they know exactly where they would go in a heartbeat if there were no obstacles.
For others, it’s a bit more ambiguous. You might have an idea about what you’d like, but you might not be entirely certain where you’d have your passport stamped if the opportunity came up tomorrow.
We all know that the best way to make something happen is to start intentionally giving it shape — something to look at, imagine, talk about, and (most importantly!) plan for. With that in mind, here are a few questions to ask yourself so you can get started working out the details of that trip you fantasize about during those hectic workweeks.
When you’ve had time to assemble your thoughts — and if you’re working on this with your partner or friends or family members — look for overlaps, recurring themes, those quiet nudges you can’t seem to shake. Listen to your gut. And start to dream big.
You can set a goal, start saving if you need to, and start giving shape to your plan. Put your images and any accompanying words or phrases up on a cork board, or glue them to a big piece of tag board, or make a digital collage that can be your screensaver on your computer at work — anyplace where you’ll see it multiple times a day — and let those images inspire you as you get closer and closer to making your bucket list trip a reality.
The best part? I can help you design this trip down to the last customized detail. Give me a call and let’s get started! To contact me click here now!
Image via Unsplash
Do you have an international vacation coming up? Don't let your worries about your budget eclipse the fun you plan to have during your getaway. Take these simple steps ahead of time to save money and prevent unexpected expenses.
Convert Your Money Ahead of TimeDepending on where you're traveling, USD might not be the primary currency. In fact, it might not even be accepted if you're going off the beaten track. No matter what your plans are, it's a good idea to have the country's currency in your wallet for purchases and emergencies. Converting your cash while you're in the United States can help you avoid surprise fees; you can shop around for the most convenient or the most cost-effective options.
Book Your Accommodations EarlyJust like in the United States, leaving your hotel choices to the last minute in any country can leave you short on options. Major tourist attractions might be completely booked up, leaving you with hotel options that are out of your price range, with low-rated reviews, or far away from your actual destination. Reserve your hotel or hostel rooms in advance, and avoid making common mistakes when booking your stay. Not only can it be less stressful when you know where you're going to sleep for the next week, but it can help you catch discounts, long-stay deals, and accommodations that are right by popular attractions.
Look for Entertainment Deals Before You LeaveCities that see lots of tourists have many deals and advertisements to catch your attention as you walk down the street. But these spur-of-the-moment tickets, offers, and entertainment deals are often pricier than they are if you go search for them on your own. Before you finalize your travel plans, look for tour offers and tickets to must-see attractions. Searching on your own means you can research your options. You can find more ideas and search for coupons or off-peak prices. Ultimately, planning your itinerary ahead of time saves you money.
Talk to Your Credit and Debit Card CompaniesWhile it's important to carry local cash for the countries you plan to visit, you don't want to carry a bunch of cash with you everywhere you go. That's where your credit and debit cards come in. With a little bit of prep work, you can save a lot of money and hassle. Take these steps:
Vacations are fun, but they can also be expensive. Organizing your accommodations, entertainment, and finances ahead of time will help you stay in your budget.
There are some great deals for late 2020 and beyond. It is not too early to start planning ahead. Book your 30 minute Exotic Travel Planning Session done by phone Now.
If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ve undoubtedly had the near-universal experience of enduring a TSA security line or an immigration line upon re-entry to your home country.
What if you could bypass these lines for good?
You may have heard of Global Entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. You fill out a (fairly lengthy) application, pay $100, and if your application passes the initial phase, you’re invited to an in-person interview/screening at a participating airport. If you pass that phase of the application, you are granted a Global Entry ID. In a nutshell, this is how it works:
At airports, program participants proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingertips on the scanner for fingerprint verification, and make a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit. (www.globalentry.gov)
In addition, people who are approved via the Global Entry program can also participate in TSA Pre-Check, which allows people to skip regular TSA security lines at participating airports and go through an expedited line — without having to remove shoes or other clothing items, open laptops, or do any of the other things that take up time in line.
Global Entry (and the accompanying TSA Pre-Check) is a good fit for your flying needs if:
In addition to inside info on things like GE and Pre-Check, as your travel advisor, I’ve got tons of helpful hints and connections to make your next trip an amazing one. I would be thrilled to meet with you and plan out your next great adventure! You can reach me by clicking here.
You know them when you meet them: those people who always keep their passport on hand, who can pack for an international trip in about twenty minutes flat, who’ve almost never met a travel idea they didn’t like, who would rather take three international trips a year than own a car. They never get tired of exploring.
Scientists might have discovered why some people tend towards wanderlust and others don’t.
One gene in particular, simply known as DRD4, is associated with dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is one of the brain’s natural “feel good” reward chemicals. For example, it’s released when we eat a delicious piece of chocolate cake or when we win at a race after training for months.
A derivative of DRD4, called DRD4-7R, is what’s come to be known as the “wanderlust gene.” In people who have it — only about 20 percent of the population — it shows up with an increased curiosity, restlessness, and desire to explore. And the one thing that almost all people who have DRD4-7R share in common? A history of traveling.
While nailing down the urge to explore and travel to only one piece of DNA might seem a bit simplistic, part of this unique gene mutation might be linked to the fact that the human brain and body are uniquely suited for exploration: unlike other primates, we have legs and hips that are designed to walk long distances; we have hands that can perform incredibly detailed tasks; and our brains are large and are naturally wired for creativity and change. Another source of the 7R gene might be those people groups in human history that experienced mass migration over long distances — they cultivated and passed on a relentless curiosity about new territory because that was what they were doing for generations.
Dr Richard Paul Ebstein, Professor of Psychology at the National University of Singapore, explored the question of the “travel gene” more in depth in the recent article. Regardless of its origin, Ebstein notes that people who possess the 7R mutation are people who exhibit “novelty seeking or extraverted behavior”.
Sound like anyone you know?
If you’re longing for your next great adventure, let’s talk travel! You can get in contact with my today by clicking here.
First things first
Let’s face it, it’s expensive to travel to far away places (and totally worth it, trust me!) Compared to most shorter distance, or domestic flights, you may already be experiencing some sticker shock.
But let me suggest a reframe here….
Instead of looking at the total price tag, break it down into cost per travel hour. Let’s compare 24 hours to Sydney at $2,500 vs. 3.5 hours to Vegas for $250. Sydney breaks down to $104/hour and Vegas to $71/hour - it doesn’t look so bad anymore, does it? Now, considering you are going to be spending hours and hours on that plane, it’s worth spending a little extra - per travel hour - to upgrade for more comfort.
Many factors like which airline you choose, how long your connections are, what style aircraft you choose, etc. are all going to affect your comfort and pleasure on a long-distance flight. As your travel agent, I will handle all of these details for you to get you the easiest, comfiest flight possible.
As we are planning your trip, I will recommend optional upgrades to you to make your journey more comfortable.
For business and first class travelers most airlines give you a set of comfy PJ's and a complete toiletries kit so you can "go to bed" in your seat which folds down into a flat bed (and they are yours to keep). (By the way, the complimentary PJ's on Emirates flights are DIVINE, so don’t think you’re just going to get cheap, disposable type pajamas.)
When you're ready to sleep, your flight attendant will prepare your bed for you with soft blankets and full size pillows.
The bathrooms in the business and first class cabins are significantly larger (at least 3X the size), which makes changing, brushing your teeth, and washing your face much easier.
I'm happy to price out business and first class tickets for you in addition to coach and premium economy tickets.
If this is the ONLY reason you choose to work with me as your travel agent, this is worth it. I will research and find you the best upgrade options so that you can actually enjoy your time in transit and arrive at your destination happy, well rested, and ready to enjoy your destination.
Just like with anything in life, preparing your attitude ahead of time is key to success. Why not look at the time you are going to spend on a long-haul flight as a glorious day of rest, a true holiday. No phone calls, no text messages, no social media, no responsibilities. You just get to sit and relax - sleep, read that great book you’ve been wanting to read, binge watch movies guilt-free. You’re going to be stuck on a plane for a long time, you might as well turn it into something you can enjoy.
So now let’s talk about how you can actually do that….
Prepare to be Comfortable
Wear comfortable clothes. Maybe not your pajamas, because let’s face it, most of us feel most comfortable when we feel “presentable” in public. But, do try to avoid clothes that are too tight, that bunch or ride up in funny ways, are made of materials that irritate your skin or are otherwise bothersome in any other way.
Everyone has different things they find comfortable, but consider soft, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen and design features like elastic waist bands.
Wear multiple thin layers so that you can add or remove clothing to help regulate your temperature in transit.
Comfortable shoes are also a must, and vary from person to person. Don’t wear brand new shoes that may still be in that break-in period and could give you blisters. Wear shoes that you already know you can walk all day in without your feet screaming to be set free! Slip-on shoes that you can take off easily are a great idea too - for ease through security as well as comfort once you’re on the plane.
Got long legs, or just like more leg room? Consider an aisle seat or exit row for more leg room, or, upgrade to business or first class.
Don’t carry on too much stuff. Even though you technically can stow a bag under your seat that doesn’t mean you want to. Think about how much leg room that extra large bag might eat up before you decide to carry it on. On the flip side, if you have short legs that don’t take up that much room to begin with, go ahead and stuff your bag under there!
Prepare to be Healthy
Pack plenty of food. You know what you like to eat and how much/often you need to eat. I recommend packing a little more than you think you will need in case of travel delays.
Nutritionists advise smaller meals with a good balance of protein, complex carbohydrates and plant-based foods to stay happy and healthy on long haul flights and to avoid jet leg.
For business and first class travelers most airlines provide you a menu of complimentary gourmet food, and in some cases, it's made to order - VERY different from the food served in economy.
You can alert your flight attendant of food allergies and sensitivities and they will accommodate you.
When you eat can be just as important, or even more important than what you eat. Eating sends important cues to your body to help regulate your circadian rhythm. Careful planning of when you eat before, during and after a long-haul flight can help you sleep better and avoid jet lag.
Stay hydrated. Air travel is dehydrating. That coffee you drink to stay awake is dehydrating. That wine you drink to relax is dehydrating. Dehydration exacerbates jet-lag, so in order to stay healthy you need to counteract all this with plenty of water. Make sure your water bottle never runs dry and sip on during your entire flight.
Pro Tip: peanuts and peanut butter are a great source of protein for many people, however if there is someone on your flight with a peanut allergy you may be asked not to bring these out - and why put someone at risk? I recommend choosing snacks without peanuts in them (don’t forget check your granola and energy bars too and choose flavors sans peanuts).
Prepare to be Entertained
Pack something to watch. Most flights will have in-flight movies, but your choices will be limited. You might want to bring your own tablet, or laptop loaded with a few movies that you know you will enjoy. Movies that you love and want to watch again or new movies that you have been dying to see - or both.
Pack something to read. Here again is where a tablet, or even your phone or laptop, shines! Make sure you have downloaded some books to read. I recommend more than one book, just in case you get bored of one, or finish it!
Pack something to listen to. If popping in your noise-cancelling headphones and zoning out to your favorite music is your thing, make sure you have all your favorite tunes loaded on your device. Maybe even some new songs to keep things interesting.
Podcasts are another great option for audio entertainment. There is a podcast for every single interest out there. You can be entertained, or educated or both. And bonus - podcasts take up less space and use less battery than movies - so load ‘em up!
Pro Tip: Your device can also help relieve anxiety and help you get to sleep. Try downloading a meditation app (like Headspace or Calm). This article provides more info on the benefits of meditating while traveling, and some how-to tips.
Prepare to be Rested
In order to rest, most people need to be able to block out light and noise. A good eye mask and a pair of noise-cancelling headphones or simple ear plugs are a must. Most airlines provide these sorts of amenities on overnight and long flights, but why chance it. Especially if you are picky about the style, I recommend packing your own.
You also might want to bring your own travel pillow. Travel pillows have come a long way since the only option U-shaped inflatable neck pillow. From luxury down jackets that convert to neck pillows to scarves that hold your head up while you sleep, there is an option for everyone.
Prepare to Have Happy Kids
Traveling with young children adds an entire additional layer of complication to your travel plans. But, with a little extra preparation the entire family can still enjoy the journey of getting there.
You might want to seriously consider breaking up a long haul flight with a 2-3 day rest and recover stay somewhere. Shorter travel days mean kids (and parents) aren’t likely to get as exhausted, making everyone more susceptible to melt-downs and even sickness.
Also, adding another destination adds more excitement and adventure to your trip.
Consider kid-friendly versions of all the preparations we have already covered, in addition to a few extra tips and tricks for keeping them healthy and happy.
In addition to bringing a few of their favorite things that you are certain they find entertaining, it’s always a good idea to bring a few new surprises to entertain the kids on a plane. Even the act of opening new gifts itself is entertainment! Think engaging toys - such as new coloring books and art supplies, new games, new books, etc. A mix of things you can enjoy with them, and that they can do alone for when you need a break.
Checklist for happy kids (and parents):
Check your stroller at the gate. If your flight happens to be delayed, your child(ren) will have a comfortable (and confined) place to rest.
Pack plenty of your child’s favorite (healthy) foods. There are few things worse than a hungry child, besides one that is amped up on sugar, or coming down off a sugar high. Think protein and complex carbohydrates to keep their bellies full and their mood calm.
Make sure they get the wiggles out before they get on the plane. Take advantage of all the space in the airport and run around. Kids need to move their bodies to burn off energy, and hopefully they will be ready to sleep when you get in the air.
Be prepared to combat the change in air pressure on takeoff and landing with a bottle (or breast) for babies and chewing gum or hard candy for those old enough for it.
I know, I know, all the experts tell us to avoid too much screen time for our children, but having a few movies or electronic games available on your tablet can mean the difference between misery and joy on a long-haul flight. Go ahead and make an exception here and indulge in some electronic baby-sitting for a few hours.
Pack a clean outfit (or two) in your carry-on, as well as plenty of wipes to clean up all the messes kids (and adults) often make.
Consider bringing their car seat on the plane. Kids are used to sitting still in them, it will help rein them in and may provide some comfort since it’s something familiar.
And lastly remember: this too shall pass. An unpleasant, uncomfortable long-haul flight might seem like a never-ending nightmare, but it will be over at some point, and the rewards of an amazing trip with be well-worth the relatively short time spent on the plane to get there.
Ultimate Long-Haul Flight Packing List
Food (we covered this in detail already)
Tea bags if you have a favorite tea, or other drink mix
Refillable water bottle
Small toiletry kit with travel versions of everything you need to feel (and smell) fresh
Facial wipes or cleanser
Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
Hand and body lotion (you can save space by choosing something that works on your face too)
Eye drops (if you’re prone to dry eyes)
Small comb or brush
Tablet or e-reader
Book or magazine if you prefer a physical version
Cards or other small games
Small notepad or pen
Battery charger and cords - for your phones, tablets and even laptop
Ear plugs or noise canceling headphones
Socks (compression if you’re prone to feet/ankle swelling)
Slip-on shoes (or just wear these the whole time)
Motion sickness remedies
Baby aspirin, if recommended by your doctor
OTC pain medication in case your back hurts from hauling heavy luggage or your neck
hurts form the awkward sleeping position
Any prescription medication you need - please make sure any medications you rely on
are in your carry-on luggage and not your checked bag
An extra change of clothes (in case of spills or lost checked luggage)
Pajamas or just super-comfy clothes if you need to change to sleep
Amazing Travel Teams
We are member of Absolutely Amazing Travel team. We love to travel and share our stories to help our clients to fulfill their vacation dreams come true.