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

A Flight Attendant’s Air Travel Tips

Flight Attendant Travel Tips to the Perfect Flight

Welcome aboard, it’s your favorite flight attendant! Your insider into the airline industry and it’s quirks.

Flight Attendants see a lot during their work day. It’s air travel…it’s crazy! Being in a pressurized aluminum tube for a certain quantity of time just brings out the most interesting aspects of personalities. Whether flight attendants work one twelve hour flight, or five short hops up and down the coast, you’d be amazed at what we witness passengers doing. But this post isn’t about passenger shaming, it’s about what I’ve discovered is the key to an enjoyable flight for passengers.

Some of these may seem like no-brainers, but honestly, I’ve had way too many passengers on  my flights not seem to understand these points so I’m going to put some of them out there even if they seem obvious to savvy travelers.

So here they are, the basics of air travel that every passenger forgets (but wants)! Remember these for a great flight!

This post contains affiliate links which mean the page administrator (moi) makes a small commission at no cost to you.

 

Tip 1. Never travel without headphones.

 

I think this is the most important key to a great flight. You NEVER know if you’re going to have a screaming baby next to you or behind you. Sometimes it happens and it’s no ones fault. Regular headphones will cancel out most of the noise, but if you have noise-cancelling, even better. Get lucky and there’s no crying baby? Headphones playing your favorite music can still set the tone for your flight, dictating whether you want to get pumped up to go once you land, or lull yourself into a restful sleep, blocking out the snoring passenger next to you. Want a sexy pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones? Yes, so do I. Maybe when I get my next royalty check 😉

Tip 2. You didn’t buy a neck pillow because it looks ridiculous.

Flight Attendant travel tips
Don’t judge me!!!! I can’t help it if I think this animal hoodie/neck pillow is cute 😀

 

No, you look ridiculous when you fall sleep and end up drooling on your neighbors shoulder. That’s right, you fell asleep upright, but now you’re slumped over against the person next to you, mouth completely ajar. I’m not joking or trying to poke fun, this happens all the time! A neck pillow won’t completely prevent slumping over onto your neighbor , but it does help! I recommend this one with memory foam. Buy it BEFORE you get to the airport because at the airport, I kid you not, it will be double the price. In most airports you can’t get a  neck pillow for less than $30. That’s crazy! If you’re a backpacker, opt for a slightly less comfortable, inflatable one like this one instead to save room.

 

Tip 3. Have gum handy, it’s the two in one life saver on your flight.

 

Gum is great for two things, stinky breath of course, but also, it can help when you’re ears are popping. On long flights I make sure to have a tooth brush handy, and if you’re in first class, usually you’ll have an amenity kit with one inside, but sometimes, it’s hard to get to the bathroom for a good brush. Gum will tie you over because whether you had too many garlic rolls (speaking from personal experience obviously, thanks Delta One) or you haven’t eaten at all and have that icky stale mouth feeling, no one wants to feel gross. And don’t get your hopes up asking your flight attendant, we’re not allowed to chew gum so most of us just have mints.

Want to know what I have in my pocket at all times? It’s not gum (since we’re forbidden to chew) it’s…Listerine Strips. I honestly think that Listerine should recruit me as their spokesperson because not only does it keep me incredibly fresh (I’ll probably fail a Breathalyzer test some day because of it) but I’m always touting it’s benefits to everyone around me. My other half is a pilot and back when we first got together, I gave him an in-flight care package that included a supply of Listerine strips. After all, the cockpit is basically a tiny bubble and if someone farts or has bad breath…you’re in big trouble. This brings me to my next point…

 

Tip 4. When nature calls and you need to brave the airplane lavatory Flight Attendant Travel Tips

 

What does every flight attendant carry in their bag? I’ll give you a hint, it’s because passengers are filthy…

It’s called Poopuri. No, that’s not a typo, I didn’t mean potpourri, the grandma’s solution to a fragrant room. I’m talking about Poopuri. It’s a squirt bottle (travel size of course) that you spray prior to going number two and no one will be none the wiser of your ill-timed deed aboard the aircraft. Picture it, you’ve got a line of people waiting for the lavatory, you’re doing something in the bathroom that you really didn’t want to do, the last thing you want to do now is make the walk of shame. Let me say this, no one plans on going number two on the airplane. And yet it happens all the time. Whether it’s the pressurization, too much coffee, eating something bad, or being hung over, people BLOW UP the lavatory. Don’t let it be you. Poopuri smells subtle, but amazing and I can tell you it works on the worst. Sometimes flight attendants will even squirt it into the bowl after an offending passenger walks out. The normal coffee filter pinned to the door trick only works for minor offenders.

 

Tip 5. Tip for my glamorous travelers, keep that hair lookin’ foxy and those lips looking’ glossy.

 

For my ladies (especially my fellow backpackers), Dry Shampoo is everything.

I keep this in my bag at all times as a flight attendant. The air in the plane will make your hair greasy. I’m  not going to lie, I love to look foxy when I’m on the plane doing my thing, untitledbut if I get in late at night and I’m flying out in the morning at O’Dark Hundred, I’m probably not going to wash my hair and restyle for my passengers. Dry Shampoo to the rescue! Not only does it remove the grease from my hair, but it revives the soft curves I styled the day before. Winning! I’m also a female solo traveler when I’m not working and love to go backpacking. When I’m traveling light like this and staying in hostels, I’m going to be real honest, I shower as minimally as possible. Dry shampoo gets me through the in betweens. Sometimes you think you’re going to shower, and then you see that fateful gross shower at your Amsterdam hostel and you think…no way in hell. It’s dry shampoo time.

My favorites are  Morrocon Oil Dry Shampoo (usually purchased right after I get paid), it smells amazing & the cheaper Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo (for when I’ve spent all my money on travel). Don’t forget, unless you’re checking your bag, travel size to get through TSA is 3.4 ounces.

Lipsense sold by Jetsetter Glamour

Let’s face it, flying can leave you both dry AND greasy. No one is going to notice though if you’ve got a perfect set of lips. Take my advice and keep lips moisturized and looking perfect with LipSense. I became addicted after realizing I could work a 14 hour day of flying and my lips would still be perfect and un-retouched. We’re talking hundreds of smiles, coffee cup proof, burrito-indulging proof, and passenger butt-kissing proof, you name it, this color stays on. My signature shade is BluRed. Try it out yourself and head to the Jetsetter Glamour online store.

Jetsetter Glamour BluRed LipSense

 

Tip 6. Bring a pen

 

This is such a no-brainer, but I get at least one person a flight ask me for one. International flights, make that twenty-plus. The previous airline I flew for did not stock pens, even on international flights, so the flight attendants did not have any to give out. Most airlines will at least have a few for international flights, but not enough for an aircraft full of hundreds of passengers. The plane that I usually work carries 175 people and we may have ten pens in our international packets. You DO NOT  want to be that person filling out their customs/immigration info at the last minute while everyone gets in front of you in the already long lines. Also for my ladies, pens make a great emergency hair pin. If you’re a major traveler, having a pen and travel journal is a must! Keep track of cool people you meet, where you stay, or amazing walks you found that your guidebook didn’t know about!

 

Tip 7. Bring an external charger for your electronic devices

 

Most planes have charging ports for each seat, but not every airline and not every aircraft. Say you’re flying Delta Airlines, and you remember from your last flight that you had a charger at your seat in coach. But now you get to your seat, expecting a similar plane, but you find there’s no charging port! Halfway through your flight your devices are dead. No one wants to land and not have a cell phone, ect. I recommend traveling with an external charger, whether it’s for a flight or if your traveling as a backpacker. I know that I use my cell phone a lot for pictures, ect so I don’t want my battery going dead while I’m halfway across the faerie pools in the middle of nowhere, Scotland in the most amazingly beautiful place I’ve ever been. Disclaimer: DO NOT purchase a cheap or aftermarket external charger because these have been known to catch fire during flight. It’s getting so bad these days with batteries catching fire that even the Samsung 7 phone is required by the FAA for flight attendants to make a PA that the phone can not be powered on during air travel. Lithium Ion batteries are very dangerous to have on planes and never leave them in a checked bag.

 

Tip 8. If you get motion sick, here’s what you need to do

 

Travel with Alkaseltzer or Dramamine. I personally prefer Alkaseltzer and bonus, it’s also good for hangover. Not that flight crew get together and drink way too much on layovers, that doesn’t happen. 😉  If you don’t have either of those things with you, but find that you’re still feeling air sick, don’t hesitate to ring your call button and let you flight attendant know. Ask for a glass of ice chips because chewing on the cold ice will make you feel much better without putting too much in your stomach. Make sure to tell your flight attendant that you’re not feeling well and she might have extra suggestions or things on board to make you feel more comfortable. Also, if you know you’re a traveler that gets air sick, try to plan your seat in advance to seat over the wings. The back of the aircraft is the worst place to sit because it gets the most movement. Instead, sit over the wings where the wings are designed to flex and take the movement upon themselves to ensure a more stable ride.

Flight Attendant's Air Travel Tips to the Best Flight

 

But the tip that most people forget is… wait for it…

 

 

The most important tip is…

 

Tip 9. For a guaranteed great flight, remember that the flight attendant is your best friend!

 

Your flight attendant can console you if you’re sad, reassure you if you’re scared or nervous, feed you if you’re hungry, bring you a drink when your thirsty and give you a memorable flight. When passengers have shared a part of their life with me, I have done my part to become part of their story they tell when they land.

Are you flying to start your honeymoon? Tell the flight attendants when you first board so that we can order you champagne because we may or may not have it onboard.

Traveling to someplace for the first time and finally crossing a destination off your travel bucket list? I’ve made an announcement before in that situation and asked any locals or return visitors to jot down their must-dos for that travelers visit. I passed out cards and pens and told them to hand them to the flight attendant before the flight was done. By the time we landed, that passenger had a stack of unique ideas from his fellow fliers. He was so grateful and it’s an experience he said he won’t forget.

Not everyone travelers for happy things. If you’re on your way to a funeral and not in a good frame of mind, it might be helpful to let your flight attendant know. Whether you need a stiff drink to cope, or just a little extra patience during the flight, your flight attendant is there to help you through that flight.

 

Final Verdict

TheLuvAviatrix

Don’t forget that flying can be fun! Flying can be glamorous! And if you’re scared of flying, don’t forget, you’re flight attendant’s are there for you. If something does go wrong, your flight crew, the flight attendants and the pilots, are extremely well trained. Please always remember that flight attendants are not just on the airplane to serve peanuts. We are the last line of defense, but also we’re your friend, your nurse, whatever you need us to be to make your flight the  best it can be.

 

Have any questions about flying? Don’t be shy and leave them in the comments. I promise to get back to ya.

 

Happy Flying

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

 

Like these tips? Pin this image for the next time you fly.

A Flight Attendant gives her air travel tips for your best flight. What to bring to make your flight easier

 

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!

 

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

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

 

 

Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, My Fav Italian Getaway

Cinque Terre

Why Cinque Terre, Italy needs to be on your travel bucket list…

 

Imagine the primordial Ligurian cliffs towering three thousand feet over the Italian Riviera, the pale rock, shining in the sun. Now picture the turquoise waters of the famous Riviera stretching out in the distance, marred only by the tiny glittering reflections of Italian sunshine. Sounds idyllic, right? Add to that amazing landscape, hundred-year old, brightly colored homes built along the cliffs and you have a picture that more resembles more of skittles spilled onto rocks that a present day city. When you are walking the cobblestone streets of Cinque Terre, passing locals selling homemade Limoncello or fresh caught sardines, you have no choice but to be transported.

 

Manarola, Cinque Terre

 

 

Getting to Cinque Terre by Air:

 

     Milan (MXP) is my go-to because it’s close in proximity to Cinque Terre

By Train From Milan: Only about two and a half to three hours by train and you’re at La Spezia, the landing point for Cinque Terre. Train tickets will cost between 9-25 Euros depending on train type. Once you’re in full-on prep mode, check out time tables at TrenItalia.

     Rome (FCO) is a solid choice if you have more time cinque polaroid textand want to see more of Italy.

By Train from Rome: Expect a three and a half or four and a half hour ride, there are some trains that do the trip pretty fast, but it’ll cost more.

No matter where you decide to take the train from, all visits to Cinque Terre begin at La Spezia. Think of La Spezia as the landing of Cinque Terre. You can choose to stay here, but I much prefer to immerse myself amongth the “Five Lands” of Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterroso.

 

   Don’t leave Cinque Terre without…

 

Hiking between the five villages of Cinque Terre

My first visit to Cinque Terre was in 2006 and I never took the train once I’d arrived in the first stop from La Spezia. I hiked between every village, working off the fresh pesto I’d consumed with glee. Hiking between the villages through olive groves and along cliffs overlooking the azure waters of the Riviera was hardly a chore. Hands down, I think this Cinque Terre hiking itinerary needs to be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Unfortunately, in 2011 there was massive flooding in the area and much of the hiking routes were damaged and is still recovering. Don’t let this stop you from visiting, but definitely check for updates on the popular hiking routes in Cinque Terre before you visit.

Soak up some sun with some amazing gelatocinque terre ice cream

 

OMG. I don’t even know what to say to describe the bliss that comes from homemade gelato on a hot day as one gazes out at the Italian Riviera. Truly, it’s a memory I’ll never forget. As a matter of fact, I probably had more than one a day my entire trip. Even flavors I don’t normally like, I LOVED! I call this Cinque Terre treat, Vitamin G 😉

 

 

 

Fish with the locals, or at least watch ;)Vernazza, Cinque Terre

You can’t be a local, but you can just sit back, relax and partake in the relaxed way that Cinque Terre locals get things done. Every day at sun rise, head to the harbor at Vernazza, grab a slice of pizza or a gelato, and cop a squat and watch the fisherman reel in their trophies. Don’t miss out on the cat’s that also flock to the harbor for their dinner as well.

 

Eat your fill of fresh Ligurian pesto!

The moment I stepped off the train in Riomaggiore, Italian men were offering to make me dinner. No kidding. Any woman that has been to Italy will believe me. Farther south, Italian men will offer to make Bolognese. In Cinque Terre, the men of Liguria will make you pesto-from scratch. I took my new friend up on his offer of a home cooked dinner and I was not disappointed. I watched Georgio use a mortar and pestle to hand grind together all the fresh ingredients. I promise you that dinner was amazing, but also, that every where I ate in Cinque Terre, food was prepared by locals with the same care. Maybe it’s the fresh ingredients, but everything in I consumed in Cinque Terre was amazing. I highly recommend the pesto pizza!

 

Still not convinced?

Here’s another glimpse into my past adventures in Cinque Terre

 

cinque terre italy cinque terre cathedralcinque terre olive grove

 

Cinque Terre Kittycinque windows

 

 

Now that you’re convinced you need a vacation to Italy, Cinque Terre perhaps, you’ll need some in-flight reading to leave you inspired…Recognize the cover? Yep, That’s Cinque Terre!

 

Beautiful Ruins

The story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 . . . and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.

*This is an affiliate link which means I get commission for referring it, but I promise it’s an amazing read and guaranteed to transport you to the Italian Riviera if my post didn’t do the trick 😉

Or how about a Roman Time Travel romance? Read my review here.

 

So have you been to Cinque Terre, tell me how much you loved it! The Luv AviatrixIf not, what areas of Italy lave you craving a getaway?

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

P.S. Unfortunately, more recently Cinque Terre has seen an alarming increase in tourism due to cruise ships docking near by. This is bad timing since they were already trying to recover from devastating landslides and Cinque Terre is getting a reputation for disliking tourists. I say, travel there on your own, not with a cruise, and make an opinion for yourself. During the times that I have been there, and friends even recently, have said that locals are still welcoming if you are humble and respectful of the land and damage that has been done by large crowds in these tiny towns.  This is an important message that all travelers should keep with them anyways, no matter where they are.

How to do Yosemite In A Day

Romantic Yosemite


Yosemite draws tourists and vacationers from all over the world. It’s no wonder why, because Yosemite truly is one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring places in the world. A vacation destination fit for adventurers, artists, romantics and adrenaline junkies. Whether you want to take a calming nature stroll and keep a vigilant eye on the unique fauna that thrive in the valley, or strap on some climbing shoes and show some massive granite who’s boss, Yosemite holds a perfect attraction for anyone.

yosemite valley

 

Personally, as someone who loves to take a bazillion pictures, love the photographic quality if the amazing landscape. I love to hike, and there can perhaps be no better, more unique and diverse hiking in one place than at Yosemite. And you better believe I always have my camera with me. Are you a photographer ala Ansel Adams? Prepare for mesmerizing waterfalls that will pound the ground, shaking it beneath your feet and spraying your face and body with a cold mist. And while Yosemite has many challenging hikes and climbs such as Half-dome, I promise there are nature walks for every skill level.

My favorite intro hike for Yosemite Beginners, or even for seasoned Yosemite-lovers that just need a warm up—is theYosemite mist Mist Trail. The hike begins with more of a slowly inclining nature walk that’ll lead to a bridge at the base of Vernal Falls. If you’re not much of a hiker, this might be your photo op and turn around spot.

If you’re feeling like a bit more exercise, continue on and prepare to be amazing. You’ll start an immediate climb, hugging the mountain so that you have constant views of the valley too your left, and towering trees on your right. You catch glimpses of the waterfall you’re hiking toward. Finally, you’ll breach the trees and be treated to the waterfall’s spray. My last hike there was during the most powerful snowmelt in years and I was left drenched. It’s a good idea to bring a rain slicker on this hike!

 

If you only have enough time for a half-day hike, turn around at the top of the falls, it’s an incredible hike in itself. If you’re feeling like you have a couple more rounds of hiking left in ya, continue on up the mountain in the steps of half-dome hikers toward Nevada falls.

yosemite falls 2 text

Tip: If you’re on a layover and only have one day, I recommend doing the half-day hike version up to Vernal Falls, and then turn around and take a scenic drive through the valley and up to Glacier Point. Glacier Point and many of the vistas on the way up are iconic and simply not to be missed on a first visit to Yosemite.  You’ll have amazing, epic views of Yosemite icons such as Half-dome, el Capitan and even the waterfalls you hiked to on the Mist Trail. If you’re traveling with your other half, this is a spot for some very romantic canoodling pics.❤

yoseemite 1.jpg

Accommodations: Camping can be rough, not because it’s not enjoyable, but because so many people want to do it in Yosemite. Book in advance, or arrive EARLY, we’re talking before the butt crack of dawn for one of the first come first serve camp sites. If you are able to book in advance, there is a great camp site just steps away from the Mist Trail hike. If you decide to stay in town, about twenty minutes from the Yosemite gate is a small town called Groveland with the oldest saloon in California. It’s pretty damn cool and I highly recommend experiencing the tiny town and to stay at the Groveland Inn for a night. Nightowls be warned, nothing is open past five or six pm.

For Flight Crew: Close airports…you have many to choose from! FAT, SMF, SFO, OAK, SJC…you could even do some farther airports such as STS and RNO and make a road trip out of it. I’m closest to the OAK airport and it’s a beautiful three hour drive.

Venture out to California and experience Yosemite and I promise you wont be disappointed. If you only have a day, do the Mist Trail Hike to the top of Vernal Falls, and tour the Yosemite Valley and up to Glacier Point for an unforgettable whirlwind trip. If you have more than a day, make sure to add the famous Sequoia grove to your list and well as Mirror Lake and many of the other incredible sites in this grand national park.

Do you love Yosemite as much as I do? Let me know where your favorite spots are!

 

XOXO The Luv Aviatrix

Got Jet Blast? Maho Beach, Baby!

Maho.jpg

Where do two aviation nerds go for a romantic getaway? I was thinking sand, sun, tropical waters, rum drinks and…the roar of jet engines. And of course, get in touch with my inner dash trash… After all, jets aren’t everything. Maho Beach, baby! #JetBlast #PropQueen4Life

Where else could my love and end up besides Maho Beach, the famous beach in Sint Maarten where planes land right over a gorgeous stretch of beach. Nothing beats the way the ground shakes and your body bows against the sheer power of a 747 descending right on top of you. For my non-airline friends who aren’t sure what an epic sight that is-behold KLM and I on Maho during my last visit.

IMG_7299To get to SXM (Sint Maarten for you non-aviation readers) from where we live in the Bay Area, we took Delta SFO-JFK. I made homemade airplane cookies for the crew, but they got crushed before they made it to the plane, but the crew still had a great smile for my tragic cookies anyway. First class was empty since all the business travelers were home for the weekend and it became employee central.:) Yipee for Nonrev victories!

Jet Blue and DL both do JFK-SXM, but we ended up taking DL to SXM and then all the way back home. BIG SHOUT OUT TO DL FOR SPOILING US ON OUR ROMANTIC GETAWAY.

We wanted to be right on Maho and the only hotel that could satisfy our inner aviation geek is the Sonesta Maho. There are many other hotels on Sint Maarten, but none of them actually sit on the famous Maho beach. So ask yourself, do you want to plane spot from your hotel room or would you rather get away from all the jets? Clearly, we chose to plan spot with all-inclusive drinks in hand and powdery sand at our feet.

m5

Sonesta Maho Best Available Rate: $372

Sonesta Maho Crew Discount: $174

$174 for two guests, all-inclusive meals and alcoholic beverages is insanely cheap! This is a crew discount that I can get onboard with. I spotted the deal on ID90, then called the hotel to confirm and they booked the room for me. I ended up upgrading to an ocean view room for $200 which is still a steal in my opinion.

Below: View from our balcony at the Sonesta Maho

IMG_7265

We could plane spot from our balcony, the pool and all the restaurants.

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My Review of the Sonesta Maho Beach:

The positive: If you love planes, this is an unbeatable locations. You can see aircraft of all kinds coming in at all hours. You don’t hear them from the hotel rooms so you can still have peace and quiet when you want it. The hotel has tons of activities from Mixology to Dance to Water aerobics, whatever you can think of. My man and I ended up participating in the newlywed game and it was a hilariously good time. The pool is lovely and has a swim-up bar to get your all-inclusive fix of tropical drinks. There are four restaurants on the premises and three of them have stunning beach views. The rooms are nice and come with two bottles of booze and a fridge with mixers. The bathroom is stocked with sun block and big spray (which thank goodness I didn’t have to use) but it was a nice touch.

The Negative: Almost everyone that works here (with the exception of the entertainment crews) will treat you like crap. This hotel probably has the worse service I’ve ever experienced. From the check-in desk to the bar, not a smile to be seen in sight. Want a drink, prepare to be scorned. The food at all of the restaurants is…okay. I would never ever have any kind of special even here due to the quality of food and customer service. Also, no room service, no coffee in the lobby. Just basic hospitality things are missing. On my last day when a convention was being hosted, the hotel put out coffee. Guess the rest of the guests don’t matter.

Final Verdict: For me, the location on the beautiful Maho beach outweighs all the negatives. The beach has powdery sand and clear turquoise waters, and the fact that you can swim in them as KLM descends over…just amazing.

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Besides the incredible moment when KLM descends over Maho, probably one of my favorite plane spotting moments was DHL, whom I will forever more call the Badasses of the Sky! Check out this pic I took below of them giving some of the beach goers a buzz cut.

Once you get outside the resort, the people of Sint Maarten are super friendly and will welcome you with open arms. We took a beautiful sailing excursion, but the snorkeling visibility was non existent due to the wind. We were there four days and it was definitely not enough! I can’t wait to go back and this time will try to make it to Anguilla!

IMG_7228

Have you been to Sint Maarten? Worked it? Let me know what you thought and if you have any other tips because I’m looking forward to going back!

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I’ll leave you with a photo of my expression when I get buzzed by a 787 XOXO JAYE

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Ready to plan a visit? Pin this image for later 🙂

Maho Beach is the most unique beach in the world. Check out this guide to visit and put Sint Maarten on your travel bucket list!

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