Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb

The Most Exotic Airbnb in Bali

Recently, I ventured to Bali, Indonesia Some of you may know Bali as a romantic honeymoon destination with famous beaches like Nusa Dua. However, I think Bali is just as perfect as a solo traveler!

When I decided (that morning) to go to Bali, I had no hotel booked and no plans. Sure I may be guilty of having Pinterest boards chalk full of travel inspo, but I had no idea if I was going to hostel it or try to find something nice, but affordable. I would end up finding an amazing Airbnb.

 

Where Did I Stay?

 

There are many different regions within Bali. I wanted to do experience both the beach, and the jungle landscape of the island. My first top would be Ubud, a spiritual center within Bali where yoga retreats, kombucha and amazing local art are common place. I absolutely think that anyone who comes to Bali needs to spend time in Ubud. And if you are going to stay in Ubud, I can’t recommend the Airbnb where I stayed enough.

 

 

 

 

 

My Jungle Villa

 

The first glimpse of the place that you’ll set eyes on is the massive, intricate, wood-carved door. Leading up to it are colorful terra cotta orange and teal tiles, perhaps a symbol of the brightness and earthy beauty of Bali.Bali Indonesia the best Airbnb

 

 

Once you step through the already awe-inducing door, your gaze goes straight to the view that stretched out beyond the massive room. The jungle beyond the villa is lush, over a thousand shades of green, marked only by the churning water of the river running through it or the majestic glint of the Four Seasons that rests along the river like a gemstone rather than a building. Besides this amazing view that you can see from within the room, those that stay at this Airbnb have their own private porch. I can tell you I spent hours out on this porch, drinking coffee, tea, beer and letting myself be inspired to create while gazing out at the view. A lot of people come to Ubud for spiritual purposes, but I didn’t need a yoga retreat or temple to feel moved. Gazing out at the lush Balinese landscape was enough to make me feel enlightened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bali Indonesia Airbnb

 

Need more than a good view? No worries. The room was fit for a honeymoon—I almost felt guilty for having it all to myself. Almost. The four poster bed is surrounded by a mosquito net, which still somehow manages to give the room a romantic feel. If a four poster bed isn’t grand enough, the deep crimson and gold shades within the room will surround you with luxury and romance.

Stepping into this home away from home, you will feel like a king, or in my case, a queen.

 

Bali Indonesia Airbnb

 

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb

 

Check out my pictures to get a glimpse of the unique accommodation. It was enough to convince me to stay, and I didn’t regret it. I can’t wait to go back.

But first, let me take a selfie…

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb

 

 

 

  Ubud Bali Indonesia Airbnb

 

Your Host

Rita and Gregorio are beautiful both inside and out and make amazing hosts for your Airbnb stay. Rita was super attentive and anytime I had a question, she was always quick to respond. She helped me arrange massages and offered local recommendations and I couldn’t have felt more taken care of. She even had Bintang (local beer) in the room fridge, which I definitely enjoyed! If you don’t want to take my word for it,bali indonesia Rita has over 90 reviews to vouch for her, which qualifies her as an Airbnb super host!

Rita messaged me about another person who also because my host while in Bali, my driver. The driver that she recommended, and who picked me up from the airport is now one of my good friends. He is amazing and if you go to Bali, no one else should drive you. Message me and I’ll give you his name.

 

 

 

Perks of the Place

Although you feel like you’re out of town, in an amazing way, you are still walking distance to many places to eat/drink. Just a three minute walk and I found myself at an amazing place with some of the most delicious food and drinks. The view and ambience were just as amazing and I definitely recommend stopping by this place and at least having a cocktail or kombucha. I had a watermelon rose kombucha that was to die for. There is also a gelato place that everyone raves about if you have a sweet tooth like me. 😉

 

bali ubud restaurant

 

Don’t want to venture out? No problem! Rita can help you utilize the room service provided by the nearby resort! Not too shabby, eh?

Wifi and all the standard amenities are also provided. I greatly enjoyed the amazing soap provided while I washed in the private garden shower.

 

outdoor shower Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb

 

Did I mention there is breakfast provided and that it’s delicious and amazing? I ate out of my beautiful veranda every morning, savoring the fresh bread and coffee.

 

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb Breakfast

 

Apparently, David Bowie and Iman honeymooned here and stayed in this very villa!

Partake in the “Four Hand” Massage by Daya like I did in the private comfort of the suite. It was amazing!

I know you didn’t come to Bali without a bikini, so grab it and lay by the beautiful jungle view pool.

 

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb Pool

 

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Airbnb

 

What is Airbnb?

If you’ve been living under a travel rock and haven’t tried Airbnb, you’re missing out. I love Airbnb because it allows you to live like a local, and usually for an amazing price. When I booked this amazing villa, it was $102 a night. Granted, it was the off season in Bali, but hands down, it was an amazing deal for so special a place. In the high season, I would be prepared to pay more and stay there again.

Click here to see the listing for this amazing place on Airbnb.

Inspired to try out Airbnb, use my link here for $40 off your next stay.

 

Need more inspiration? Check out my other post on an amazing Airbnb that I found in one of my favorite cities, Paris.

The Most Unique Apartment in Paris – My Airbnb Review

 

In Conclusion

 

Ubud, Bali, IndonesiaI hope you find a reason to visit Bali, Indonesia and more importantly, Ubud! I can’t recommend this Airbnb enough to my friends and fellow travelers. Whether you want to climb a volcano, meander through rice patties, or surf stunning beaches, Bali holds magical memories for every kind of traveler.

 

I LUVed Ubud and I know you will too!

      XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

 

 

 

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Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Palenque , Mexico

Surviving the Road to the Ruins of Palenque

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque Ruins
Hola!
I’m super excited to tell you about my adventure in Palenque, some of the most amazing Maya ruins in Mexico, dating back to 200 AD. Those of you that know me are aware that I grew up wanting to be a flight attendant! I did want to get a degree first though (just in case my career airline ever went belly up) and I thought it’d be wise to have a back up plan. I wanted to study something I could use when I was traveling so I majored in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis in Maya Civilization Archaeology. I’m going to do my best to give you a flight attendant’s guide instead of an archaeologist’s guide to Palenque. What I mean by that is, I’m going to give you the basics of why to add Palenque to your travel bucket list. If I get enough feedback though, I’d love to write a second, more in-depth post, diving into some of the amazing artefacts, temples and inscriptions that you can find at Palenque.

 

What/Where is Palenque?

(For all you non-Spanish speakers, this is pronounced pah-leyn-kay)

Palenque is an ancient Maya site located in the Chiapas (southern) region of Mexico.

 

Why is it special?

King Pakal, once ruler of Palenqeue, was the longest reigning ruler in Mayan history, 80 years! You can witness the majesty of what he reigned over, the temples still awe-inducing in their majesty. Even more incredible is that Palenque has so many inscriptions and stelae that archaeologists haven’t even been able to decipher them all yet. That is absolutely mind-blowing! Inscriptions not your thing? Palenque’s white, limestone temples peek through lush jungle and glitter in the sun, demanding their greatness shall not be forgotten, making the Palenque temples amongst the most iconic and magnificent in the realm of the Maya.

 

I have been to many Mesoamerican ruins, Toltec, Zapotec, Olmec, Maya, Aztec, and Palenque still holds a special place in my heart.

 

Why is it my favorite?

 

Palenque is much unreconstructed compared to other ruinsA Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque like Chichen Itza, which is cool, but disappointing as ruins because you feel like you’re walking onto the set of a postcard. Other ruins like Teotihuacan are mostly reconstructed as well, but still grand enough to demand a visit, check out my post on climbing the pyramids there.

You arrive at the entrance of Palenque, walking past locals trying to sell thing to tourists, and you catch your first glimpse of the Temple of Inscriptions. You’re transported. I don’t care if there’s one hundred other tourists there, or you have the place to yourself, it’s impossible to step on to the park grounds and witness that first sight of Palenque’s white temples peeking through the jungle, haze hugging the city like a mystical barrier, and not feel as if you’ve been transported in time.

 

 

 

 

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque

 

Get past your awe and explore the park on foot. I recommend not visiting with a group because there is so much to navigate, including jungle where you’ll find more temples and buildings that haven’t even begun to tell their stories, held captive by hundreds of years of jungle, winding their tentacles around the limestone. Hike to the top of the temples and sit. Sit for a moment and listen to the monkeys clamoring in the surrounding jungles and wonder if this is where someone got the idea of King Louie, guarding an ancient city. Or imagine ancient life if you can.

Or take a selfie (preferably after said introspective wondering).

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque

We’ve established that this place is incredible, but how do you get there?

 

Not easily. Unless you fly, but that’s no fun…said the flight attendant. ; ) Part of what makes Palenque so cool is that it’s in the middle of nowhere, surrounded on all sides by jungle. Rather than fly, (this was a backpacking tip after all) I opted for a fifteen hour bus ride from Oaxaca. That’s right… fifteen hours! Experience the real Mexico, I thought. Experience, I did!

 

Let me begin by giving you a bit of my travel background so that you don’t think

Getting to Maya Ruins Palenque
Getting to Maya Ruins of Palenque

I recommend this to everyone. If you are an experienced or at least semi-experiences traveler, I do recommend traveling by road or bus because it allows you to see more of the country. If you’re anywhere that has warnings or advisories (and sometimes Mexico does), and you are a novice traveler, air travel might be safer and less stressful for you.

 

I have been traveling forever since I grew up with airline travel benefits and had already done much solo backpacking across the world as a woman. On top of that, I’m semi-fluent in Spanish, so I was comfortable getting information when things went wrong and how to find my way. Also, some of my family live in Mexico and my aunt (who does humanitarian work there) keeps me pretty appraised of struggles in different regions. For these reasons, I felt comfortable back packing through Mexico for a month.

 

 

When things do go wrong, it makes for the best stories!

And so with my tale of getting to Palenque…

 

If you’ve read my post on a Flight Attendant’s Tips to Air Travel, you’ll know that I always have alka seltzer in my purse in case of a rough flight, or let’s face it- a hangover. I bet you can already sense the ominous tone and where I’m going with this. But Jaye, did you use your own air travel tips for the bus ride? *Face palm* That would be a no. There were so many flight attendant fails during this bus ride that I can not begin to tell you. But I will.

 

From Oaxaca, Palenque by way of San Cristobal de las Casa (also a cool place) is about fifteen hours. At least six hours of that is through mountains for those of you that get car sick (like me). See where this is going? Those of you that have traveled around Mexico much will know that quite frequently, you’ll see traffic stops and trucks full of men armed with gigantic guns. I’m not a gun aficionado, but they’re basic automatic rifles that you see in movies like SWAT. There’s no need to freak out if you see these on the road, and sometimes they’ll even come aboard. You do however, when traveling anywhere, need to be aware of your belongings because tourists are always victims of petty theft.

On this trip, I was traveling my grandma, a gypsy at heart, who had inspired all of her children to be travel addicts. Since we were traveling during the rainy season, she had her favorite yellow rain coat. Our family is from Seattle, so we take rain coats pretty seriously. We both wore our coats on the bus, and placed our backpacks at our feet so that we had all of our belongings on us. Halfway through the mercilessly bumpy ride, we were both exhausted (there’s no sleeping on this overnight ride) and feeling quite green around the gills. Finally, sensing disaster impending, I made my way up the bouncy aisle to tell the driver that my grandma (and probably I) was about to be sick. He then told me (in unimpressed Spanish) when the next stop was. Grand…

 

Flight Attendant Travel Tip: Always travel with a sick sack 🙂

 

My grandma very discreetly removed her rain coat and got sick into the coat pocket in the most lady-like fashion that I’ve ever seen someone be ill. We then twisted up the coat so nothing could spill, and put it in the overhead bin. My grandma contested a bit, preferring to hold onto it rather than place it where someone could steal it. My reply was that it was only a rain coat and nothing was valuable in it so no one would take it. Feeling nauseous myself, I wasn’t super excited to have said coat on our person. Grandma looked at me with a calm expression that said something like, “I’ll probably never see this coat again.”  I on the other hand, assured myself that would not be the case, because the coat was right above us in the bin, and who would steal a bright yellow, vomit-soiled rain coat. By the next stop, my grandma’s favorite rain coat was gone. The next six hours of mountain-hugging roads were the most miserable of any road trip I’ve ever it couldn’t take away our excitement to arrive in Palenque.

 

But travel is magical…and wouldn’t you know it…the rain that trickled arrived at our destination, subsides not long after we stepped foot at Palenque. : )

 

As a matter of fact, you’ll see by my pictures that I was wearing shorts and a tank top and my cheeks look quite flushed. Being in the middle of the jungle at the ruins of Palenque is the sweatiest I have ever felt. The temperature probably wasn’t too high, but the humidity was nuts.

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque

 

 

A Flight Attendants Guide to Palenque

 

 

Palenque Stelae
That’s my grandma 🙂

 

 

Flight Attendants Guide to PALENQUE


A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque, Mexicov

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque, Mexico

 

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to PalenqueBut it never once lessened the awe I felt at being there. Palenque is special because you can climb the stairs of the temples and walk through ancient tunnels and into dark, limestone corridors where locals, maybe even Kind Pakal walked. Temple is amazing. I’ll never forget doing that climb with my grandma and just resting on the limestone at the top, gazing over the ancient city.

 

Flight Attendant Travel Tip: Beware of Monkeys and Bats 🙂

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque

 

 

 

 

 

Wander the grounds, get lost in the corridors, and jungle paths. You’ll find colorful stelae, hidden temples and even waterfalls back in the jungle outskirts of the main landing at Palenque.

 

 

 

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque

 

 

Final Verdict:

 

The Maya ruins at Palenque need to be on your travel bucket list because:

  • History at it’s finest! More stelae and inscriptions than archaeologists even have time to decipher
  • Many real ruins on site, left as they were found and minimally maintained
  • Not too crowded (compared to sites like Tulum or Chichen Itza)
  • You can actually walk through most of the corridors and hike the temple stairs for a view
  • Experience the jungle, howlers moneys and all!
  • Palenque has many amazing waterfalls and sacred cenotes

Getting to Palenque is not for the faint of heart, but experiencing this ancient city will be one of the most vivid travel experiences you’ll ever have. Add the ancient Maya ruins of Palenque to your travel bucket list. You won’t be sorry.

 

So, have you ever had one of those travel experiences where everything goes wrong, but it makes a funny story to tell after?

 

Happy Traveling

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

Thinking of having a Palenque adventure of your own? Pin this for later 🙂

A Flight Attendant's Guide to the Ancient Mayan ruins at Palenque

If you're headed to Maui, Hawaii, the Road to Hana needs to be your priority!

The Road To Hana, Maui’s Epic Drive.

The Road to Hana, Maui needs to be on your travel bucket list

Aloha!  If you read my blog, than you’re probably a travel addict with a travel bucket list a mile long. The Road to Hana needs to be at the top of that list if you haven’t already checked it off. What is the Road to Hana? It’s basically Hawaii’s answer to the scenic Highway 1 along the California Coast. Are you ready for this…quite possibly sacrilege coming from a California girl…but I think the Road to Hana surpasses Highway 1, making this Maui drive one of the most scenic drives in the world.

 

 

If you're headed to Maui, Hawaii, the Road to Hana needs to be your priority!

 

Flight Attendant Tip: You’re going to need to get a rental car to get around the island and I highly recommend an SUV. Don’t forget, if you’re flight crew, check for discounts. I got an insane deal for five days and the guy at the counter was stunned. I call that a win. Anyways, make sure you get an SUV because on the Road to Hana, not all roads are paved. 🙂 You’ll see in one of my pictures below. It got quite rough and I’ve very glad we weren’t in a tiny convertible.

 

 

 

If you're headed to Maui, Hawaii, the Road to Hana needs to be your priority!

 

Anywhere you want to stop along the Road to Hana, you can explore and hike back to a waterfall, you might have it to yourself if you want to swim around. Just be sure to bring bug spray. I recommend this one. The beauty of Hana is to stop along the way. That’s why I say at least a full day but up to three days depending on how many hikes you want to do.

 

Waterfalls along the Road to Hana

 

My absolute must-do hike on the road to Hana is the Bamboo hike. That’s what I call it, but there so many waterfalls on this hike I guess it should be called the Waterfall hike. 😉 The hike begins at the Seven Sacred Pools, several waterfalls that flow into each other and during certain seasons you can swim in. Keep on trekking up the path though and eventually you’ll get to a bamboo forest. It’s absolutely magical, like being in another world. Check out my pics if you need a little inspiration 😉 I wish I could fill this entire post with the bazillions of pictures I took.

 

The Road To Hana needs to be on your travel bucket list

 

The great thing about the Bamboo hike on the way up from The Seven Sacred Pools is that it’s a very easy hike. As you can see in the pictures, much of it is flat trekking. The incline (when there is one) is quite gradual. If you want to get close to the falls or swim in the pools (which is seasonal), make sure you wear a swimsuit or bring waterproof clothes. When I was there, no one was allowed to swim in the pools, so no cute bikini waterfall pics this time. Just a cheesy one of me with my jacket wrapped around my hips. 😉 I’m such a cool kid…I’ve even been known to travel with a fanny pack from time to time.

 

Hike back to this amazing waterfall on the Road to Hana.

 

The bamboo hike is just one of hundreds of possible stops along the road to Hana where you can hike, gaze, or simply fill your Instagram waterfall quota. If you’re an aviation nerd like me (or if you’re a flight crew on a layover) consider putting a visit to Charles Lindbergh’s grave on your Road To Hana pit stop list. The aviation legend (first solo flight across the Atlantic) loved Maui and wanted to be buried on the island. It took us forever to find the church (because it’s so small and there’s no signs), and once we did, we were astounded at how low key it was. I guess I thought there’d be a gigantic airplane sculpture or something. Instead, it was an incredibly non-descript grave. Lindbergh’s still got an amazing view though, and the tiny church and cemetery overlook the ocean.

 

 

Aviation addicts can visit Charles Lindrave in Maui, Hawaii

 

Flight Attendant Travel Tip: Start from Paia and drive toward Hana. Paia has an assortment of restaurants and a grocery store if you want to purchase picnic items or road trip food. I recommend that you not arrive too hungry to Hana as it is quite a sleepy town and I was not successful in finding good food there. No one wants a hangry road tripper. Since I had wanted to get an early start to the Road to Hana, we stayed a couple nights in an airbnb. *If you haven’t signed up yet, you can get $35 towards your next stay* Not familiar with Airbnb? No worries, check out my latest Airbnb post here about my wonderful stay in Paris, The Coolest Airbnb in Paris.

Tip #2. Start early and don’t even think about doing this drive after the sun goes down. Sight-seeing all the glorious flora on both sides of the road is what makes the trip so magical. Not only that, but some of the roads so get quite bumpy and treacherous. Not dangerous, but you definitely want 100% of your faculties. Diminished eyesight on unpaved roads isn’t something anyone wants to deal with on a vacation road trip.

Another tip: I mentioned this in my other Maui post, but when I’m on the island, I would be lost without this book. Especially if you’re doing the Road to Hana, bring a great book with you that will detail many of the waterfalls and beaches you are seeing on the drive and it will tell you exactly what mile markers to look for if you want to hike or pull over for a selfie. 🙂

Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook (Kindle Edition)


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Final Verdict The Luv Aviatrix on the Bamboo HIke along the Road to Hana

The winding road, lush jungle scenery, cascading waterfalls and turquoise ocean water make this drive incredibly unique. Throw in a rainbow every few miles and you’re experience the ultimate Hawaii vacation. The Road to Hana is the best of Maui. Stop wherever you like, hidden beaches, waterfall hikes, bamboo forests…the possibilities are endless on Maui. So get on a plane to OGG, rent a car and set out on the most amazing drive you’ll ever take, Maui’s Road to Hana.

So, have you done the Road to Hana? What were the highlights for you?

 

 

Haven’t been to Maui and done the Road to Hana yet? Put it on your travel bucket list and pin this image for later 🙂

 

The Rooad to Hana in Maui Hawaii is one of the most scenic drives in the world

 

The Eiffel Tower, Oaris - The Luv Aviatrix's Airbnb Review

The Coolest Airbnb in Paris

Bonjour! If you know me, than you know I love Paris. It’s my favorite city in the entire world, and I’ve done quite a bit of traveling. Perk of the job. There’s just something about all the history, all of the art, and the slow way in which the locals enjoy a coffee or a meal. As a writer, I love meandering the same cobblestone streets that Ernest Hemmingway, Oscar Wilde, and countless other writers have called home and been inspired by. Or if you prefer art, what artist did not live in and love Paris?

 

The Eiffel Tower, Oaris - The Luv Aviatrix's Airbnb Review

 

But I’ll not get too carried away discussing the hundreds of reasons I love Paris in this post, instead, I’m going to tell you where to stay. My goal today is to enlighten travelers about the unique option while in Paris, of staying at an “Airbnb” instead of a hotel. I like Airbnb, although I’ll be honest, I have had hit and miss occasions. This occasion in Paris was a hit, and I’d love nothing more than to tell fellow travelers about my unique experience.  But wait, you haven’t heard of Airbnb?

 

Airbnb for Dummies.

What is Airbnb?  In a nutshell, Airbnb is accommodation via personal homes and apartment rentals. Via the website, the user can choose to rent only a room, or an entire apartment or home. You can search for homes all over the world, some Airbnbs renting for as little as $7 USD and some as expensive as thousands of dollars per night. This is because Airbnb offers everything from a camp rental or room rental, to giant beach front vacation homes. Generally, I don’t rent anything over $200 a night.

 

My Favorite Airbnb in Paris

There were two key reasons why this apartment is amazing.

1. Location. In the heart of Le Marais, the historical heart of Paris with winding, cobblestone alleys and quaint bistros. The apartment is located right on St. Catherine’s Square and strolling distance to Place des Vosges. You can walk everywhere in Le Marais, but if you do choose to venture farther, a metro stop was less than two minutes walk from this Airbnb. Some of the best food I’ve had in Paris was less than a block away from our stay at this wonderful Airbnb. If you want quintessential Paris, then to be able to stay in Le Marais is a must accommodation-wise. Having a metro stop is even more significant, because the transit system is super easy to navigate and can get you everywhere in Paris.

2. Unique Parisian Feel. Let’s be honest, the only reason to avoid a chain hotel, is because you want a unique experience and homey feel. When you stay in Paris, you want to feel like a local. What better way than to rent a local Parsian’s home or apartment. Everything about this Airbnb screamed Paris, but also artist. From the winding staircase up to the apartment door, to the giant wall-size map of Paris in the living room, you’ll be transported. Don’t even get me started on the Absinthe shop beneath the apartment. So cool! The quirks continued inside the partment with lighting in the shape of…well scroll down and you’ll see 😉 My favorite touch beside the giant wall map of Paris would have to be the wood beam ceiling. Just magical and as you can see by my pictures, this Airbnb was full of Parisian charm.

 

This Paris Airbnb is full of charm - A Luv Aviatrix Review

 

This Paris Airbnb is full of charm - A Luv Aviatrix Review

 

This Paris Airbnb is full of Parisian Charm - a Luv Aviatrix Review

 

I never met the host (as in some Airbnb cases), but I was given the location of the key to let myself into the apartment. All of the normal amenities were available, such as shampoo, conditioner, ect. Another perk of an Airbnb, is having a full kitchen in the apartment. The kitchen was complete with everything we need and we made quick use of the wine opener to celebrate our arrival into our cozy Parisian nest.  Our bed was incredibly comfortable (or maybe it was the French wine) and we slept in late into the following afternoon. Nothing beats a lazy day in Paris!

 

Le Marais, Paris, Airbnb Review

Perks of Airbnb

I stay in hotels a lot as a flight attendant, and it can feel quite stale. Every hotel looks similar. You walk in and out like a tourist or business person. Airbnb lets you live like a local! Not only that, but there is the perfect Airbnb for every personality. I loved the very unique and Parisian feel of this Airbnb, but maybe you’re into a sleek, modern look-Airbnb has so many hosts that there is a home for every style. Are you a cook back home and you want a gourmet kitchen in the middle of Paris? Airbnb will help you find what you need. There’s just something more personal about staying in an Airbnb and no matter what city I’m in, the accommodation definitely makes my stay all the more memorable. Just like hotels, Airbnb accommodations get cleaned, and probably better than hotels because they rely heavily on reviews. Sometimes you will see this small cleaning fee either included, or on top of the apartment/home charges.

Airbnb not your thing? Start pricing hotels in Paris. After all, planning is half the fun!

 

 

The coolest Airbnb in Paris    Final Verdict

This Airbnb has got to be the coolest place to stay in Paris. And it cost less than $100 a night! It’s so unique both inside and outside the apartment and full, from floor to ceiling, or Parisian charm. You’ll feel like a local when you step outside onto the quaint cobblestone street, only minutes away from bistros and the metro. So go to Paris, stay like a local, and cram as much macaroons and cheese into your suitcase as you can 😉

 

New to Airbnb? Get $35 USD in credit when you sign up or stay using my reference code here. It’s free to sign up.  Get on the site, but prepare to get addicted! There are so many amazing places in the world to stay and so many incredible Airbnbs!

 

 

Happy Travels

xoxo

The Luv Aviatrix

 

This is an honest review done of my own will and opinion and was not paid for by Airbnb or it’s host although this post does contain affiliate links which I may make a commission from.

 

Start planning your next trip to Paris and pin this image for later 🙂

 

The Coolest Airbnb in Paris - Stay like a local!

 

P.S. Want the travel book in that photo I took at the café? It’s one of my favorite walking guides to Paris. There’s no better way to get to love Paris than to walk. I’m not sure if they still make that specific books anymore, but Frommers is always putting out new editions.

P.P.S. Prefer fiction? Check out my post A Flight Attendant’s Bookshelf for my favorite travel reads!

 

Frommer’s Paris day by day (Kindle Edition)


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The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

Tokyo is for lovers…Sushi lovers!

I’ll never forget the first time I visited Japan. I wasn’t a flight attendant yet, I think I was eighteen, and I joined a family member on her Narita layover. I had a little over twenty four hours in Japan and in that time, my culinary desires were to have gyoza and teriyaki. When I think back, I cringe at this because I know how much I was missing out on. Although, I definitely was onto something regarding the idea of consuming as much gyoza as possible while in Japan. But at the time, I claimed to hate sea food. I know, sacrilege coming from a Seattle, girl. Perhaps because I grew up watching men toss around fish at the Pike Place Market, the thought of eating it just never did anything for me.

My culinary experiences in Japan greatly changed during my second visit. That fateful trip to Tokyo changed my life…and my taste buds…forever. Let me tell you how it happened.

My trip to Tokyo by way of NRT (Narita), started off grandly. I was able to get a seat, which for us standby folks is always a good sign. Of course, my Delta crew treated me like a rock star, which on a ten hour flight is so appreciated. I enjoyed cocktails, amazing food and four in-flight movies! Needless to say, I was sleepy, but pumped to explore Tokyo once again.

 

Luv Aviatrix goes to Tokyo via NRT

 

Yay, I’m back in Japan!

 

For this trip, I said that I was going to eat anything and be completely adventurous. Since Japan is an island, they obviously have amazing fresh fish and the Tsukiji Fish Market is famous world wide. So of course, it was my first stop. According to my travel guides, it’s important to get to the Tsukiji Fish Market nice and early. I didn’t necessarily need to see the first catches being brought in, so I didn’t show up before the sun, but I did plan on having an early lunch there and carousing most of the stands before any tourists showed up.

 

I was amazed at all the goods offered at the market, including fresh catches of squid, octopus, and fish I’d never even heard of. I was definitely inspired to pop into one of the Tsukiji Fish Market sushi shops. After all, if anyone could convert me into a sushi person, perhaps it would be Japan. I stepped inside a tiny establishment within the market and felt good about the number of locals that had already come inside to enjoy sushi. A conveyer belt wrapped around the tiny room with plates of beautifully crafted sushi and sashimi concoctions.

 

Tsukiji Fish Martket, The Luv Aviatrix's Guide to the best Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

 

Although nothing was in English, I decided to try everything, even if I didn’t know what it was! I decided my method was simple, grab the pretty sushi plates as they passed by. Although my Japanese was iffy at best, it didn’t matter because the Sushi house was self serve and even included spigots of tea at every station. Just being in this environment was super fun because I’d never eaten at a place like this before!

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

Every plate of Sushi was so beautiful, it was obvious that the Sushi chefs took their time in creating these culinary masterpieces. The beauty in these dishes definitely made me feel brave to try new things and I quickly grabbed my first plate from the sushi belt.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to the best sushi in Tokyo, Japan

 

 

Since I had always been anti-sea food, I have no idea what fish were on my sushi plate. I was eager to taste one of the mini art pieces though and quickly discovered something…it was amazing! That’s right, I didn’t know what it was, but it was probably the most amazing thing I’d ever tasted. The sushi melted in my mouth as if it had never been whole. That’s how fresh this fish was. Utterly amazing. I was convinced. Sushi, so far, was amazing and I’d definitely be having more than one plate!

Flight Attendant Tip: Although I was a sushi newbie, Japan taught me that traditionally, you’re supposed to eat the entire sushi in one bite. I found this hard believe and impossible at first (there was a very unflattering photo to prove it), but I soon got the hang of it. I definitely understand that by consuming the sushi in one bite, all the flavors are absorbed at the same time. And because good sushi melts in your mouth, the large bite is rendered palatable quite quickly.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

It took all of my travel courage to take the above plate off the sushi belt, mainly because it had a face. But it was so unique to Japan, almost symbolic as a dish, I just had to. This little guys sacrifice wasn’t in vain and I salivated for moments after finishing this amazing dish, contemplating all I had been missing during my seafood-free life.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

Above: I still don’t know what this is or what different things are in it…but it was amazing. A trend I noticed eating all this sushi is that every bite melted in my mouth. And despite all my preconceived notions, nothing tasted fishy. I was told later that fresh fish shouldn’t smell “fishy”.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

Above: This plate ended up being my absolute favorite. The slight sear on top was like the icing on the cake, but um, for sushi. Since I was so Sushi illiterate, I had no idea until later that it was Unagi, also known as Eel! Who knew that this anti-sea food gal from the Pacific Northwest would go to Japan and get hooked on Eel? Not me, but to this day, my go-to date night dinner is Unagi from our local sushi joint. I <3 Unagi!

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

In all honesty, although Tokyo has converted me into a sushi lover, the above dish was the only one I didn’t love. I finished it, but the fish eggs were a bit salty for my taste. I definitely think if you’ve never tried them before, that you should. The texture is very interesting. They’re soft and squishy like Jell-O, but have a bit of a crunch as you bite into them.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

How Much Will it Cost?

You will be amazed when I tell you that even though this was the most amazing sushi I’ve ever had (and since my first visit I had sushi just about everywhere) the plates of sushi were about $1 US dollar each. Isn’t that amazing? How it works is that different colored plates equal different prices. At the time of my visit, plate started as low as .50 cents. That’s right, you can get one of those beautiful sushi plates pictured for less than a dollar! The most expensive plate I had was $2. That means that the Tsukiji Fish Market has sushi for every budget. Heck, I ate like a queen at this amazing place! Look at all those plates I went through and it was less than $10 USD!

 

For my fellow flight crew, it’s cheaper to fly to Tokyo (including zed fares) and eat at Tokyo’s fish market than to have sushi at some restaurants in the states. No joke, a similar plate to what I got in Tokyo would be $24 USD at Los Angeles Sushi house, Katsuya. For one person to eat there easily racks up to over $100 dollars, and you’ll leave hungry if you’re not rich and famous. On my budget, I can’t even afford to step in the door. For less than $100, flight crew can nonrev to Tokyo and take a train or bus to the Tsukiji fish market area of downtown Tokyo. Even if you need to purchase a zed fare, it’s usually not more than $6o round trip. So why not hop over to Tokyo for an amazing lunch as just fly back? I did 🙂

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

 Final Verdict:The Luv Aviatrix, a flight attendant, enjoys the Tsukiji Fish Market

Absolutely, anyone that visits Japan needs to visit Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market and have sushi while you’re there. Even if you’re like me and think you hate sea food, when I finally gave it a chance, the fresh fish blew my mind. Sushi really is an art form in Japan. Although Tokyo has many different areas to explore, do not leave without experiences the Tsukiji Fish Market. You’ll feel like you’re in a different world! And isn’t that what traveling is for?

So, are you are a sushi addict or are you ready to be converted?

Happy Traveling

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to the best Sushi in Japan. The Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

 

Ready to plan your trip to Tokyo? My bookshelves would be empty without all my great travel books to get me ready!

 

 

Lonely Planet Tokyo (Travel Guide)


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Flight Attendant's Guide to Teotihuacan view from Pyramid of the Moon

Climbing the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan

Not far from Mexico City, travelers can climb one of the tallest pyramids in the world. If you’re the adventurous sort, and I know I am, you’ll get out of the city and head to the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan. Before you even arrive, you’ll see the giant Pyramid of the Sun in the distance. In my humble opinion, I think Mexico City is one of the most interesting cities in the world. Whenever I hear people say they are going to visit, I tell them that an excursion to Teotihuacan is a must. Whether you climb the pyramid or simply gaze at it, you’ll be transported to another era. An era of cacao, of gold, and of human sacrifice.

 

If you follow my blog you know I’m a flight attendant. I always wanted to be a flight attendant, but I still went to university to study subjects that I thought would be useful in my travels. This led me to major in cultural anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology. This is what gave birth to my obsession with ancient Olmec, Maya and Aztec civilization and I spent a summer backpacking around, adventuring to many of the ruins. I still have plenty of ancient cities on my list, but that summer I put a good dent in it. Teotihuacan, unlike some ruins, is very easily accessible.

 A Flight Attendants Guide to Teotihuacan Mexico

ng the Pyramids at Teotihuacan, Mexico

Teotihuacan, Getting There

By Bus, or By Bus Tour…That is the question. Some people argue that it’s better to take the bus on your own because it’s cheaper, with more time at the pyramids. This is certainly true, but I have to say, I did take a tour through a Mexico City hostel and it was incredibly memorable. Many of the bad reviews for the bus tour was the opposite of my experience and personally,  you get what you give in life. So let me tell you about my excursion.

 
Flight Attendant Tip: First of all, even if you’re not staying at a hostel, you can always get the same excursions, BUT CHEAPER, by purchasing from a hostel. Also, don’t be afraid to haggle…especially my ladies, I feel like the men actually enjoy it when we haggle with them. 🙂 My Spanish and smile have gotten me amazing discounts. In the states, I’m sure the same haggling would have gotten me throttled. My haggling is usually something like, “Oh bummer, my budget was (insert amount here). That’s too bad because I really wanted (insert object of affection here).” Haggling has never failed me and allowed me to remain budget doing excursions, buying jewelry, getting taxi rides, you name it. And don’t forget, you get more flies with honey, so always smile! I paid $15-20, which seems like a steal to me for transportation, a guide, a tequila workshop and snacks.

 

Pit stop: The tour I did stopped at a Tequila tasting shop and our group (of about 15) got to see how the ancient Mesoamericans used the Maguey plant and local flowers to make bright tapestries. They used the same plant to make drinking mescal. Tasting the mescal, and pulque was quite intense, made from the Maguey plant we were shown when we first arrived. I really liked the sweet Almedrado, an almond flavor tequila liquer. I’ve heard some people complain that it was a complete waste of time and that they hardly got any tequila. My group was there about fifteen minutes, so it definitely didn’t cost too much time at the pyramids. And let me say, they were verrrrrry generous with their pours. I didn’t want too get too tipsy before climbing one of the tallest pyramids in the world, so I was careful, but let me say that before we even left the Tequila place, some of the guys in our group were puking in the bushes. 😉 Caution: Tequila taste at your own risk.

 

Making textiles out of Maguey

The Ruins of Teotihuacan

The main event! Two giant pyramids, the Sun and the Moon tower above the Avenue of the Dead. Walk down the ancient road lined with rocky temples and you can’t help but feel like you’re in another world. Teotihuacan was once home to over 125,00 people and when you take a tour, you really gain incredible insight into the city, which even had technology such as ancient plumbing and aqueducts. This is absolutely incredible if you keep in mind that the Pyramid of the sun was believed to have built in the second century AD. I knew some from my collegiate studies, but really our guide was a wealth of information. That’s a great perk about tours, but also, I met memorable friends from Germany and Brazil that I still keep in touch with.

 

Climbing the Pyramid of the Sun:

 

If you’re afraid of heights, this is not for you. I’m not afraid of heights and still on occasion I was like “What the hell am I doing!?!?!” The steps get pretty steep and towards the top it gets very windy! Once you get to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, you’ll be surrounded of course by fellow adventurers. If you check out my selfie below, you’ll notice the edge in ominously close and I can’t help but wonder if any tourists have fallen off the pyramid before. Eek!

 

Flight Attendant's Guide to Teotihuacan and climbing the Pyramid of the Sun

 

Flight Attendant Tip: If you want to feel a bit more like you’re the only one atop the mountain, head over to the Pyramid of the Moon and climb that one too! I did and was rewarded with a very peaceful rest at the top. Although the Pyramid of the Sun is more famous because it’s taller, the Pyramid of the Moon has an even better view because it rests at the very end of the Avenue of the Dead, offering a very dramatic view of Teotihuacan and the Pyramid of the Sun in the Distance. And if you’re sitting at the top and it feels like you’re just as high, it’s because you are. The Pyramid of the Moon sits on a higher landscape so although it’s not as tall, you still climb just as high.

 

Flight Attendant's Guide to Teotihuacan view from Pyramid of the Moon

Bottom Line:

Whether you’re a history lover, or just love a unique adventure, Teotihuacan is a must if you’re in the Mexico City area.

 

So, have you climbed a pyramid lately? If you did, were you deathly afraid or was it invigorating? For me, it was a little of both, but mostly amazing!

 

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui

Maui: A Flight Attendant’s Guide

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui, Mai Tai Service

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui

Aloha! I count my lucky stars that I’ve been able to explore Hawaii so much. As a flight attendant, travel is a major perk of the job, so it’s a crime not to get around. I love all of Hawaii, but Maui might possibly be my favorite island. Each island has their own vibe though, so really I suppose my favorite island just depends on what I’m in the mood for. But whenever people ask, my initial response is always Maui. Maui is amazing because it has the romantic, quiet beaches, it has epic hikes, snorkeling, whale watching, and an unforgettable highway that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. But I’ll get to Maui’s Road to Hana in a little bit.

Maui, the Basics

 

Maui is known for whale watching, rainbows, gorgeous beaches and amazing fresh seafood. To get to Maui, you”ll have to fly into Maui’s Kahului airport, OGG. There are many airlines that service the airport. For those of you who know me, I started off my flight attendant career with the Alaska Airlines air group. This means I’m particularly biased when I recommend flying Alaska Airlines into Hawaii. One of the perks is the welcome to Hawaii complimentary Mai Tai service. Yep, a free Mai Tai to get you ready to arrive in Paradise. That being said, I’ve heard Hawaiian is great, and my friends at Virgin America and Delta have always treated me great well. XOXO

To get around the island (and to fully appreciate it) I whole-heartedly recommend renting a car, preferably a four wheel drive to better navigate the Road to Hana as some roads are not paved. Although it’ll be expensive, I recommend visiting during whale-watching season. Whether I was driving, dining or laying on a beach, I was always seeing whales breach and it was incredible. Check the weather because part of Maui’s magic is that the weather is always changing. One minute it’s raining, the next minute you’re getting sun-kissed and gazing at rainbows. Pack accordingly with a light rain jacket and bug spray never hurts in these climates.

 

Rainbows in Maui, a Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui

My Favorite Beach

 

Maui is always on every “Best Beaches” list, whether it’s Conde Nast, Frommers, you name it, Maui will have multiple beaches on that best beach list. Maui has white powder sand, black sand, every shade of stunning sand you can dream of. Some beaches lay in front of fancy resorts and some you can hike to. There’s so many unique beaches and that’s why when I announce my favorite beach, I’m sure I’ll get someone disagreeing with me. Kaanapali is super popular, and very beautiful, but Oneloa, also known as Big Beach, is definitely, hands down my favorite beach on Maui. I’ve been there a few times and it’s usually less busy, and sometimes it even feels like you have the place to yourself. Big Beach is beautiful to just relax, or if you’re feeling active, boogie board or snorkel. I snorkeled here and although sometimes the waves are a bit heavy, I still saw lots of beautiful fish. Most of all, I love the way the beach curves and you can get a great view of it by climbing up a hill to Little Beach. That’s right, climb over a hill and down on the other side is Little Beach, a clothing optional beach 🙂

 

Big Beach, Maui Hawaii

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Big Beach, Maui Hawaii

 

Visit this Big Beach, because I insist, but don’t forget some of the other famous beaches. Like I mentioned, Kaanapali is probably Maui’s most famous beach. Chances are, if you’re staying in a big hotel on Maui, you might be staying on Kaanapali. Personally, I prefer the Kihei area because there are a lot of things that are walkable and it feels less resort-like and like more of a town. If you’re on honeymoon, go with romantic resort areas on Maui like Kaanapali or Wailea.

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui, Kaanapali Beach

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui, Black Sand Beach

 

 

A note on snorkeling in Maui: There are many “trips” that you can pay for, but snorkeling is great just about everywhere and you can certainly just go on your own if you bring a snorkel or rent one. The bummer about paying for a snorkel tour is that you’re subject to weather influencing the visibility. Maui water is super clear, but bad weather is bad weather, unfortunately. I have done the Molokini Crater trip and I was very disappointed. The visibility was bad due to wind and on top of that, it was so crowded I didn’t get the feel of being in another world like I usually do when snorkeling. I highly recommend renting or bringing your own snorkel gear and going for a swim whenever the mood strikes you. I used my favorite Maui book, Maui Revealed for all the best snorkeling spots.

 

My Favorite Place for a Drink

   Hint: It’s everything you expect for a romantic, Hawaiian evening Lilikoi Martini

 

For my birthday, I wanted nothing more than a good view, good sushi, and an amazing cocktail.  I got all three at the 5 Palms in Kihei. The 5 Palms is at the Mana Kai resort in Kihei and it rests right on the beach, offering amazing views from both inside and outside the restaurant.

My to-die-for drink is the Lilikoi Martini. When I ordered it, I didn’t know what Lilikoi was exactly, but it sounded Hawaiian so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. I was so right. To this day, it’s my favorite cocktail I’ve had anywhere. It probably didn’t hurt that the sunset I was gazing out at, and the whales breaching in the distance, all made the drink taste even more magical.

The 5 Palms doesn’t disappoint, which makes it very popular and a reservation is absolutely necessary! Trying to walk in? Expect to be turned away or asked to wait for some time. Waiting can stil be fun though because you’ve got a great view. The second time I went to the 5 Palms, I waited about 30 minutes to get in, but was able to watch the whales breaches just off the beach. Amazing. This place isn’t cheap, but it’s not super expensive. Budget wise, I’d say it’s a once-per-trip visit kind of establishment. 😉

 

The Road To Hana Coconuts on Maui Hawaii

 

If you go to Maui for no reason other than to experience the Road To Hana, you must go. The Road to Hana is quite possibly one of my favorite world experiences and it should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. I recommend dedicating at least an entire day (we’re talking set you’re alarm to wake up early) to three days depending on what your travel goals are while on Maui. But what is the Road to Hana? Basically, it’s Hawaii’s answer to California’s Highway 1. Both famous drives cling to rocky cliffs, offering earth-shattering ocean views. What makes the Road to Hanna even more special is that every couple seconds, you’re passing waterfalls. I promise your neck will hurt from taking this drive because on one side you have beautiful ocean vistas, on the other side is jungle and waterfalls galore. The road to Hana is so spectacular, I dedicated a post to it here.

 

 

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui

 

 

In Summary, Don’t Leave Maui Without…

Whale WatchingTaking Snorkel Selfies in Maui, Check out this Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui

Chasing rainbows

Eating and drinking as much as you can:

fresh fish (ideally macademia encrusted), Hawaiian shaved ice, tropical drinks, repeat

Driving the road to Hana

Checking out each Maui beach, whether it’s black sand or white powder. Grab a snorkel!

Have you been to Maui? Tell me, what’s your favorite thing to do on the island?

Aloha and Happy Traveling

XOXO The Luv Aviatrix

 

P.S. Notice how I haven’t put any accommodation recommendations? Let me know if you have any! I’ve always stayed in AirBnBs there and while I’ve had luck everywhere else in the world, I haven’t had success in Maui. Every place I’ve stayed has been lackluster. I even had one host greet me by insulting my shoes. Yep. That happened.

P.P.S. Planning a trip to Maui? Below are my two fav Hawaii/Maui travel books. Please note that these are affiliate links, which mean I get a commission, but I promise, I wouldn’t steer you wrong. Pretty much anyone who’s been to Maui will recommend the book, Maui Revealed 🙂

 

Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook (Kindle Edition)


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Lonely Planet Hawaii (Travel Guide) (Kindle Edition)


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Jeep in Kauai

7 Reasons Why Hawaii Should Be Your Bachelorette Party Getaway!

Hawaii Bachelorette Party Ideas

Aloha! As a flight attendant, I’m fortunate to be able to travel a lot. Hawaii is an easy getaway for me since I’m on the West coast. I’m ashamed to admit that the first few times I went to Honolulu, I scoffed at the idea of visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center. I finally went after taking my mom to Honolulu and maybe it’s because I have a dirty mind, but it was like Magic Mike Live, but in Hawaii. My face is literally getting red just thinking about it. The entire time I was there I thought, this needs to be my bachelorette party getaway…if I ever get married lol. So far all you gals that ARE engaged, this is my argument for making a Hawaiian getaway part of your bachelorette party getaway plans.

Reasons to have your bachelorette party in Hawaii

 

Kauai, Hawaii

1. Hawaii is never a bad idea. Let’s be honest, it’s paradise!

 

Exhibit A above. The beaches, the weather, the smiling people and aloha spirit. I’ve never been to Hawaii and not had the time of my life. Nothing is more memorable than leaving footprints in pristine Hawaiian sand or gazing out at a fresh rainbow after a brief, warm sprinkle. Have your bachelorette party in paradise and I guarantee it’ll become a tradition, a Hawaiian girls getaway that you and your closest friends can remember forever. After all, you and your hubby-to-be deserve a romantic honeymoon, but don’t you and your besties deserve a special vacay? I think so!

 

2. The Polynesian Cultural Center…Hawaii’s Gift to Women

Like I mentioned before, on many of my previous visits to Honolulu, I’d shunned the idea of taking the time to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center. It’s not that I’m not interested in culture, I majored in Anthropology, so I love it. But if I’m on a quick getaway, I always just assumed the PCC would be stuffy and full of tourists. I avoided the Polynesian Cultural Center like I avoid the Mona Lisa exhibit in the Louvre. Big Mistake. I think everyone should visit the PCC…especially women. There was so much history…but goodness, it’s like they hire the best looking men of the islands to reenact the historical practices. I literally felt like a predator watching them show me how to make a woven basket or build a fire. And don’t even get me started on the Haka. What is a Haka, you ask? It’s an incredibly testosterone driven war dance, as equally sexy as it is terrifying. Maybe it’s the romance novel writer in me, but seeing these guys pounding on their chests and sticking their tongues out nearly rendered me to a puddle on the floor. The only reason I didn’t melt was one of the Hawaiian Shaved Ice vendors helped me cool down with the yummy treat! The ladies of your bachelorette party are sure to get into trouble here. I know I got a couple numbers while I was there 😉

 

Feast your eyes on some Polynesian Culture Center  studs. Like Magic Mike, but sexier…a bit primal. 🙂

 

Polynesian Cultural Center HonoluluPolynesian Cultural Center HonoluluPolynesian Cultural Center Honolulu

 

Polynesian Cultural Center Honolulu

 

3. All the exotic drinks..Honolulu Mai Tai

 

Tiki Bars, need I say more? There’s going to be drinking at a bachelorette party, so why not drink fresh Mai Tais and beautiful Orchid-topped Pina Coladas? Or how about Pineapple juice and champagne, a Pimosa so to speak 😉 If anyone in the bachelorette party is a non-drinker worries, you’ll still feel exotic drinking fresh coconut milk. Yummm…

 

Kauai Pina Coladas

 

4. Take a group surf lesson!

 

This idea is for the epic bride-to-be. It’s so fun, but it’s not for the hung-over bachelorette group. So if you’re planning on doing a lot of vacation drinking during your bachelorette party getaway, maybe steer away from this option. Does this warning sound like it’s coming from personal experience? That’s because it is. LOL. On my last girls getaway…well, let’s just say what happens in Hawaii stays in Hawaii 😉 Drink too much the night before at your own risk though because yours truly got seasick during her surf lesson. Getting rescued by the studly surf instructors was definitely not on my to-do list. Speaking of instructors…The surfers are all super sexy, especially at Waikiki beach. All the girls will enjoy a little hands on action with the instructors. Nothing beats leaving Hawaii knowing you tried something different, and maybe even caught a wave!

 

5. Instagram material for life 😉

 

Let’s be honest, the vacation didn’t happen if you didn’t take a bunch of pictures and post them on social media. Whether it’s exotic beaches, exotic drinks, bikini selfies or food porn pics, Hawaii provides plenty of photo ops.

 

Hawaii Flora   Hawaiian Shaved Ice kauai napali

       Kauai Sand             Honolulu View

6. Rent a Jeep, take the top off and sing!

 

When in Hawaii, you definitely need a ride. I whole heartedly think that a jeep is the only way to go. Cram all your girlfriends into it, take the top down, and blast some of your favorite tunes. Singing cheesy pop songs at the top of our lungs and having the Hawaiian breeze whip through our hair created iconic moments that I’ll never forget. Depending on how many girls are in your bachelorette party, you’ll need one or two. Have a bachelorette caravan if you have to! This was such a great memory from my last girls trip in Hawaii!

 

Jeep in Kauai

 

 

7. Take a Hula dancing lesson

 

Besides being a blast, learn some skills that you can take back home and impress your man with. After all, the art of hula dancing is by far, one of the most beautiful, sexy, graceful dances in the world. Do a private group lesson for your bachelorette party, get dolled up, and learn how to hula. Some companies will let you request a location, I’m thinkin’ beach. Some instructors, like Sarah Chang will even help choreograph a wedding dance!

Bottom Line… There are endless Maui Hawaii Embry Riddle Hatreasons to create a memorable bachelorette party in Hawaii!

 

 

I’ve left you with 7 since it’s a lucky number. And honestly, even if you’re not planning a bachelorette party, take your best girls to Hawaii and start an annual tradition anyway! Sometimes life gets busy and where better to reconnect with friends than paradise?

P.S. Looking for a Honolulu hotel? Check out my review of the Aston Waikiki, here.

Aloha & Happy Traveling

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

 

Honolulu Aston Waikiki

Hotel Review: Honolulu, Aston Waikiki Beach

Hotel Review for Aston Waikiki Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

As I flight attendant, I stay in hundreds of hotels, so I’ll admit, I have high expectations. So I’m always excited to let my fellow travelers in on what I think about the places I’m staying.

Flight Attendant Tip: Don’t forget, if you’re flying to the island (and you probably are), Alaska Airlines has a complimentary Mai Tai service to get you ready for your exotic vacay!

Honolulu, especially the Waikiki Beach area, hosts thousands of tourists every day. Hawaii is an idyllic vacation and I always say that Honolulu is for Hawaii beginners. What do I mean by that? The Hawaiian islands all have unique characteristics that make them special, whether your plan is to venture around volcanos, hike to waterfalls, or lay on the beach with your lover all day long, each Hawaiian island is sure to please. The island of Oahu, has a little something for everyone and is a great starting point for Hawaii newbies. Is it my favorite island? Not by a long shot. Is Honolulu my favorite Hawaiian getaway? No way. Is Honolulu amazing and do I tell everyone to go there? Yes!

 

Where to Stay and what will it cost me?

 

An arm and a leg. Sad, but true, almost every hotel in the Waikiki area is expensive year round. That’s because there really is no high and low season for Hawaii. This is because like Paris, Hawaii is always a good idea! Although it’s expensive to stay in Waikiki, I do think it’s important for first time visitors to experience the Waikiki area. This is because it’s easy to navigate on foot. Due to of all the tourists, Waikiki has a lot of the beautiful, sometimes cheesy things that first time visitors look for, whether it’s free hula dancing shows or fire dancers in the park, you’ll never run out of fun things to do. Including hustlers trying to throw fliers into your hands for the tour excursion they’re selling. They’ll promise you it’s the best deal, but be wary. But I digress…onto our featured accommodation.

 

Aston Waikiki Beach

 

Ocean view rooms start at a little over $200, unless you get lucky with a crew special (which often are sold out). It’s located right on Kalakaua avenue, which hosts many restaurants, hotels and shops and more importantly, it’s right across from the beach. Even better for families, the beach in front of the Aston Waikiki has a barrier to block the waves, creating a protected ocean pool to swim.

 

Honolulu Waikiki Beach

What I liked about the hotel

 

For the price (because $200 for an ocean view in Waikiki is actually pretty decent), the view is amazing. I love that the room I had on the forward right side of the building had a sweeping view of the entire avenue and beach front. I’ve been centrally located before, facing forward and it’s a gorgeous view, but I think I favor this one. I love that this hotel is located down at the end of the main drag because it’s a little less crowded and a little more quiet. Also, I feel like admitting this is cheesy, but I liked the restaurant/bar at the hotel. It’s an indoor/outdoor tiki bar that faces the ocean so it’s got a great view. It also has fun drinks, yummy food and entertainment in the evening. I would definitely go back to that tiki bar even when I’m not staying there. It’s called Tiki’s Bar and Grill.

The beds and amenities were good/average.

 

 

Honolulu Aston Waikiki

 View from my room

 Honolulu Aston Waikiki

What I didn’t like

 

The pool was very lackluster. Honestly, that’s not a huge deal to me because when I’m in Hawaii I prefer to be on the beach anyway. If you are a pool person, probably pass on this hotel. The pool is a bit old school, small and always filled with kids. Not very many places to lay out in the sun. I didn’t have many complaints about the hotel, but if I had to come up with something else, it’s that it didn’t have a very Hawaiian feel about it. Some hotels in Waikiki go above and beyond with gorgeous fragrant flora and pineapple juice upon arrival and this hotel didn’t really give me that same welcome to Hawaii feel. The view from the balcony was great, but I guess I should mention that it was a bit small compared to other Honolulu hotels such as the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa. But that’ll cost a bit more.

Bottom line: The Aston Waikiki is a great hotel, not my favorite in Honolulu, but a solid choice. No matter where you stay, make sure you have an ocean view. It makes waking up all the more magical. At the end of the day, anywhere you stay in Hawaii will be brilliant, because it’s an amazing place.

Happy traveling.

XOXO

The Luv AviatrixThe Luv Aviatrix in Honolulu

 

Ko Phi Phi Ley

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand. Paradise or Overrated?

 

Koh Phi Phi

I am going to assert myself here (and get some backlash I’m sure) and state that Ko Phi Phi, Thailand is paradise! Feel free to disagree with me in the comment section. But for those of you less familiar with the Ko Phi Phi islands, let me give you the run down on one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand.

 

Ko Phi Phi is actually made up of several islands, most famously Ko Phi Phi Ley and Ko Phi Phi Don. It’s been spelled many different ways. While I saw it spelled Koh Phi Phi more while I was in Thailand, it seems like most tourists spell it Ko Phi Phi, so for the sake of continuity, that’s how I’ll spell it throughout this post. For Thailand newbies, the “H” in Phi Phi is silent, same with other destinations in southern Thailand such as Phuket. It’s pronounced “Poo-ket”.

 

Ko Phi Phi Ley is the more famous island, known for Maya Bay, featured in the Leo Dicaprio movie, The Island. In the movie, a group of travelers set up a community on a secluded, perfect island…and the bay in indeed, majestic. See for yourself, my unfiltered pictures from my last visit.

 

 

Ko Phi Phi Ley

 

 

ko phi phi longboats

 

Looks perfect, right? Almost like I’m the only person on this amazing island…

Wrong!

 

 

Busy Kho Phi Phi Ley Thailand

I couldn’t even get a picture of the “Koh Phi Phi” sign without a speedo-wearing tourist! Tee-hee…

Tourists Maya Bay, Kho Phi Phi Ley Thailand

 

 

Too many tourists or is it travel bucket list destination?

 

This is where travelers have very distinct opinions about Ko Phi Phi’s Maya Bay. It’s amazingly beautiful, no one is disputing that, but is the influx or tourists too much to be able to appreciate that beauty? Personally, I don’t think so. As you can tell, it was very crowded, but not too insane that I couldn’t get many pictures without any other people in them. I’ll post one of my fav instagram shots below.

If you want to see this beautiful place for yourself, I think you just need to go into Maya Bay knowing there will be a TON of tourists. If you’re expecting that, you won’t be disappointed. You just have to take it for what it is, a stunning place that everyone wants to see. The good news is, in my humble opinion, that the tourists weren’t annoying. Everyone was there for the simple reason of enjoying the beauty of the bay. There are no cheesy bars or any gimmicks on the island. The draw is the crystalline, azure waters and the towering, lush mountains framing the bay.

The Luv Aviatrix in Ko Phi Ph, Thailandi
The Luv Aviatrix in Ko Phi Phi #NoFilter #MayaBay #Thailand

Do I think it needs to be on your travel bucket list? No. I think that the islands of South Thailand DO need to be on your travel bucket list, but not these islands specifically because of the large amount of tourists. I would actually avoid Phuket and the touristy islands if you only have a short amount of time or will only be going to Thailand once. Visit the southern isles of Thailand for the more relaxed beauty if you’re trying to check off items on your bucket list.

 

In a nutshell: Girls trip, yeah visit chaotic, but fun Phuket and Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi. Honeymoon, try a more secluded island such as Krabi, Ko Samui, Ko Tao or any of the smaller more off the beaten path islands in the gorgeous southern waters.

Happy Traveling!

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix