Couples, cruise, river cruise, Solo Travel, Travel Tips

Friday the 13th – My 13 items I Never Travel Without!

I’ve enjoyed celebrating Friday the 13th since I was a kid! I did have a very superstitious grandmother who also enjoyed Halloween and she had an enormous impact on me. She always said she was a modern witch (due to her nose), and modern witches ride vacuum cleaners not brooms! So when I moved away from home for university, she gave me her old Electrolux as a fine reminder of being modern and staying true to myself.

So in my early teens, I became uniquely aware of marketing and businesses. I learned about it in school one day – seriously, like once – and its been stuck in my mind ever since. A local shop in our small town (a gift store) would always host a one day sale anytime a Friday the 13th rolled around. I thought that was brilliant!!! Because it was unique and attractive – it drew you attention! Years later, I owned a store front business on the other side of the country, and I adopted the same marketing idea. It was fun!

We need more things to celebrate in life, so I find this is an easy one to remember. And it doesn’t matter if you are superstitions or not, you can still celebrate. Here are some ideas:

  • Celebrate that old relative who has concrete superstitions (My mother-in-law has them PLUS her birthday is on Halloween!)
  • Celebrate 13 things You’re grateful for!
  • Celebrate how far you’ve come this month rather than far you have left to go.

Next Friday the 13th in 2020 after this one in March is not until November!

ITS A GREAT TIME TO PLAN AHEAD! Contact me to discuss your ideas for where we can send you to celebrate this next special day! The time to book is now, in the wake of the global issues, specials are to be had from your travel advisers such as myself!

13 Items I Never Travel Without in my Carry-On Tote

  1. Gum! Perfect for ear issues on flights, bad breath, when you have a cough or are hungry
  2. Earbuds/Headphones: I have a Bose set for noise cancelling, but also my buds for sharing
  3. iPad/Tablet: I can work on it, read on it, and always have pre-downloaded podcasts & movies ready to go for when there is no wifi & I’m in need of mindless entertainment
  4. An extra Phone Charger Cord & a Battery Back up! Fortunately most airplanes have chargers but if not, that battery back up sure helps after a long fight
  5. Water Bottle & a Travel Mug: I always fill it up on the other side of security at the filling stations so I don’t have to wait for it on the plane, but also to have in destination – we never have enough water intake! I simply feel better not wasting cups in destination too
  6. Ziptop Baggies: to keep things dry, to gather snacks, to keep wet away from dry….
  7. Binder Clips! : I use them to keep curtains closed, to help hold my papers together, to hold up my phone in a baggie on the plane for viewing if need be, seriously – 1000 ideas!
  8. Pen & Highlighter: I learned this long ago when I started cruising, you just never know! Plus I’m a germ-a-phob, so I always use my own pen.
  9. Air Pillow & Air Foot Rest: air because they are easy packing, the foot rest is because my legs are short and I find it more comfortable, especially on long flights
  10. My Drug Box: I’m THAT go-to person! I have anything & everything you might ever need
  11. Snacks!: I have pre packaged ones & protein powder everywhere I go… I have allergies, so it’s nice to know I have back up too if we’re in a situation where the menu is off limits
  12. Hand Sanitizer AND Wipes: nothing’s worse than having someone spray the seat next to you – USE THE WIPES!
  13. Finally: Back up Docs! I bring print copies of my: itinerary, tickets, passport, ID, prescriptions, contacts, and Insurance I also have an e-copy emailed to myself, my contact back home & house-sitter.
My essentials
ErikaLuxTravel Specially Curated List

Lets send you off with that bag! Contact me to discuss options!

Cheers, Erika

Travel Tips

Ziptops ARE the answer!

@Erikaluxtravel & her assortment of travel zip tops!

1st thing to go into my bag when I pack to go anywhere – all sizes of Zip top bags! 

ESSENTIAL, ESSENTIAL, ESSENTIAL!

I first started bringing just a big one that we could store wet bathing suits in it, either on a weekend car ride, an overnight at a hotel with a pool, or from a cruise where you had a dip the night before you left and didn’t want to musty up the rest of your luggage.

Then I got super cautious about my bottles in my toiletries bag, and each one had it’s own bag or a couple to a bag (depending on size) have hearing horror stories about explosions after even a short hopper flight!  No way did I want to have my clothes smeared with sun tan lotion, or to lose out on my favorite shampoo I painstakingly packed.

An example of the variety of sizes and strengths I carry

I have dietary restrictions, so I started to travel more with my own snacks – of course always checked the regulations when I left the country – I use some containers but have transitioned more to Zip tops because I found they come in handy after you empty them to fill up on more snacks along the way that you can grab from buffets and such!

Oh and always have a good thick Zip top handy for your phone – either to keep out water or dust no matter where you are – and you never know if you’re going to get caught unexpectedly in a rain storm & soaked to the bone!  Also, if you have paper itineraries and tickets, be sure to keep them in a big Zip top, that way you can have them stay flat & dry and readable.

Don’t want to spend money on travel cubes?  Get some giant zip tops – fantastic for organizing your clothes, of which you can then push the air out and compress them in order to make more space, as well as small ones to organize your accessories!  The snack size baggies are perfect for travel emergency items such as band-aids and travel medications. Then along the trip, you can turn it into your laundry bag, so they don’t muss up the fresh clothes! ORGANIZATION IS THE KEY TO ALL SUCCESSFUL TRAVEL (So is having a exceptional travel specialist @erikaluxtravel or elange@ttand.com)

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packing organization at its finest

Want to purchase that duty free liquor deal?  You’ll absolutely want to bring a big THICK Zip top bag for that, in case it breaks on the last flight home (This is EXPERIENCE here people… that leaky luggage is not fun when you get home!).

if the wine is going to break, let it not wreck your clothes

 Simply put, they help keep you organized on a trip, and are clear – you can easily see what’s in your organized mess! (BTW, I WISH I was an affiliate marketer for this!)

Cheers, Erika

#erikaluxtravel               ELange@ttand.com

Authentic Experience, Couples, excursions, Travel Tips

When in Iceland eat a hot dog

… and other favorite foods I’ve enjoyed on vacation

Listen here – I took pictures of my food BEFORE Instagram made it popular!

I was a scrapbooker, and because I couldn’t take the taste and smells with me, I took photos 😊

I’ve truly enjoyed getting to experience new things as I get older, including new taste combinations and exquisite culinary adventures!

Though this is a challenge to broaden my travel horizons due to my food allergies – not sensitivities or dislikes (though those do exist too) but try anaphylactic allergies. The main culprits are fish, seafood, shellfish and mushrooms – & in this day in age, chefs love fish or mushrooms or both!  I am pleased to say that cruising has been a super experience where I thought I’d been in deep trouble surrounded by seafood. Though this has not lessened my fear of going to Asia where I don’t’ know the country, and fish /mushrooms are key diet items.

I digress, there has been plenty of food I’ve enjoyed in my journeys – and had the pleasure of learning to cook while in my travels.  First one that comes to mind is New Orleans gumbo, not only did I take a class and buy the spices in bulk to bring back home, but I often make it for friends as it’s a huge crowd pleaser!  That then leads me to think of the most surprisingly delicious pork chop I’ve had in my life at Perry’s in Houston Texas – hands down!!  I’ve tried to perfect this since, and no luck thus far.

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In Iceland, besides the world famous hot dog stand in Reykjavik, (BTW, all the hot dogs in the country are made in a single plant) the bread an butter are to die for!  Since the country does not have many cows, most of the butter is from goats.  Oh and have I mentioned the coffee?!  My husband doesn’t even like coffee and he drank coffee every day there it was so delicious! (recipe!)

In Hawaii, everyone on the tour was excited to have fresh fish every day, so all that was left on the menu most times was Hawaiian pulled pork – so I made a game of it and was sure to have it every single day!  It tasted slightly different at each place – which was unexpected fun, but consistently was moist and juicy!!! (recipe!)

Now don’t get me started on Holland American’s bread pudding with vanilla bean custard sauce – I would simply eat vegetables for lunch so I could thoroughly enjoy a giant bowl of delectable warm dessert in the late afternoon (sorry, had to dry off my keyboard from the drooling) (recipe!)

Close to home, Brazilian Barbeque at Gaucho’s in Canmore Alberta is not only all you can eat meat of so many types I can’t remember, but also a fab churro and always excellent service!

Seattle’s a damn find place to easily find good eats, but most memorable was our dinner in the revolving restaurant when I had a gourmet piece of pot roast that melted in my mouth! Like I can’t even remember dessert the dinner was so good!!

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In Charlottetown, PEI, we did a culinary tour (In the pouring rain and it was still amazing!), of which we learned of poffertjes – which are little Dutch pancakes, so tasty & fluffy!  Then we were exposed to something we were surprised we’d never thought of: chocolate covered potato chips – Old Dutch to be precise: the true taste of sweet & salty – forget chocolate covered pretzels!

 

Drinks!

Now I’m not a beer aficionado like my husband is (seriously, he’s pretty much a certified judge!) but I’ve had a delectable Pumpkin beer in Astoria Washington, and a crisp passion fruit at Kona Brewery in Hawaii.   Though whiskey cocktails are currently my choice, nothing beats a Cajun spiced rum & sweet tea on a hot day in New Orleans! Oh, and I am a rare fan of a chicory coffee.

So, what’s your favorite food and or drink you’ve enjoyed while on vacation?!

Cheers, Erika

#erikaluxtravel              http://www.erika.lange@marlintravel.ca