Thursday, April 23, 2015

Anthony Bourdain Travel Tips

Check out these great tips from Anthony Bourdain.  

One Bourdain tip I have followed on all my international trips is "Find the line". If you eat at busy restaurant or a stand with a long line - the chances of getting sick go way down.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Family Travel Tips - Keeping Teens Happy

Teens can be a tough audience when it comes to vacation. Here's some ideas to ensure they have a great time as well: 

Seek out resorts or cruises with activities geared to their interests. Some resorts offer DJ Academies, Video Production Classes, or  Teen Discos. If your teen enjoys water sports, pick a resort with snorkeling near the shore or free use of kayaks. 

Encourage your teens to get involved in the planning. Let them pick the activities for a couple of days. 

Consider an trip to a different culture - Asia, Europe or South America will offer an incredible learning opportunity. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Travel Tip: Label your Carry-On

Travel tip - Many people focus on how to mark their checked bag with ribbons, stickers, luggage tags so it's noticeable on the carousel and forget about their carry on luggage. On my last trip, I watched a woman almost take someone else's bag. Be sure to put a noticeable luggage tag on the handle of your carry on bag or use a luggage grip.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Family Travel Tips - Explore local foods

Vacations are a great opportunity for everyone to try new foods. 

Amy loved using a cruise to encourage her kids to try new foods since there really is no pressure. If they don't like it, the waiter just brings something else. 

Other ways to encourage food exploration: 
- Take a family cooking class together 
- Visit a farmer's market and everyone picks out one thing to try 
- When out to eat, order several different entrees versus every person picking a meal to encourage experimenting. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

5 Tips for Gluten Free Vacations at All-Inclusive Resorts

1. Seek out resorts with unlimited a la carte dining. Buffets can be difficult.

2. Double check food preparation standards for foods you will eat frequently.  
For example, are French fries fried in separate oil?

3. Seek out resorts with alcohol you can drink.  Not all resorts include wine. 

4. Contact the resort in advance to ensure your reservation is marked with a special dietary need. 

5. Meet with the chef upon arrival at the resort. Express your dietary concerns as a medical necessity. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Family Travel Tips - How to keep parents sane during travel

1. Find a resort or cruise line with a great kids'club. The kids have a great time meeting other kids and enjoying great new activities. Parents enjoy having a little alone time during the vacation. 

2. Agree that each parent will get do one activity alone for a certain amount of time - schedule a massage, take a 3 hour excursion, take out a kayak. 

3. Go with the flow - If everyone is exhausted, sleep in. Yes, it may seem like you are "wasting" vacation by sleeping, but that's better than epic melt downs by both parents and kids. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cruising Gluten Free

Before You Cruise 
1. Be sure your dietary restrictions are noted in the application. 
2. Email the Special Needs Department to reconfirm your dietary needs. 
3. Assigned Dining for dinner - Many people prefer utilizing the assigned dining option so they can have the same table and wait staff each night for dinner.  With anytime dining, you can also request the same wait staff.   On many ships, the main dining room will also be available for breakfast so you’ll only need to navigate the buffet for lunch. 
4. Investigate booking a suite level cabin - On some cruise lines, the suite level accommodations come with their own dining rooms that include a lunch service so you’d be able to avoid the dining rooms. 
5. Pack meal replacement options - While you will have gluten free food available on the ship, you may not have the same options on shore. Many excursions last 6 - 8 hours and the included snack will likely not be gluten free. 

Once On Board 
1. Meet with the Maitre’D to confirm your reservation indicates gluten free. 
2. The first night at dinner make sure to introduce yourself to your servers and educate them about your dietary needs and the seriousness of your condition.  
3. Pre-order food for the next night’s dinner - At the end of dinner, request to see the next night’s dinner menu. The server should review for you what is gluten free. If the server doesn’t seem confident in what is gluten free, ask for the maitre’D to come over. If you can’t find something you like on the menu, pre-order something else.  Stir fry with chicken, steak or grilled chicken with vegetables or a pork chop with mashed potatoes are all great options. 
4. Navigating the buffet - Ask for a manager or chef to come out to walk around the buffet with you.  You may also be able to special order gluten free toast, pizza or pasta from the buffet kitchen. 
5. If you are having trouble getting what you need -  go to guest services and ask to speak with the Hotel Director. She/He oversees the food option and should be able to help you troubleshoot any issues that may come up.  The guest service staff will not be able to answer your dining questions, but they should be able to get a message to the Hotel Director with your concerns.