Where I’ve Been

…I think it’s about time for an update, and I would LOVE to share with you guys what I’ve been up to!

As some of you may remember, this month I have 3 new destinations and the pleasure of operating a Toronto flight home. I’ve been documenting each of these trips on Instagram, and have garnered over 17.7K followers as a result! Due to the overwhelming support on social media, I have been updating these accounts more frequently than this blog, but hope that you will continue to follow me regardless.

You can find me on:

Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

Thank you for your love and support; it means the world to me!

Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

 

Layover Life: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This week I had the pleasure of visiting Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KL). It was my first time visiting the country and I have nothing but great things to say about it!

When the crew and I arrived at our hotel, some of us decided to venture to the night street food market for a quick dinner. I’ve never eaten in this type of setting before, so that in itself was a really cool experience. Restaurants were lined up along the street, with tables in chairs placed on the side of the road. This is apparently common in Asia, but it was my first time seeing anything like it!

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Night street food market in Kuala Lumpur

Following dinner, a few of us went out to explore the nightlife. We ended up at a bar called Beach Club Cafe. It’s a very popular place for airline crew to visit, and we had a great time.

Even after a long flight and late night out, some of us still managed to get up early the next day to do some sightseeing. We visited the Batu Caves, Templer Park and took a quick look at the Petronas Twin Towers.

The Batu Caves is a limestone hill composed of 18 caves, multiple temples and 272 steps. It contains the most popular Hindu shrine outside of India and has the world’s tallest statue of Hindu diety Murugan. The site is also known for its macaques (monkeys). As entertaining as it is to watch them, they can pose a biting hazard to tourists because of their territorial nature.

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A macaque on the steps of the Batu Caves

Templer Park is about a 15 minute taxi ride away from the Batu Caves. It is a forest reserve consisting of multiple waterfalls, jungle streams and trails. We only stayed for an hour because our driver was kind enough to wait for us, but it was enough time to see what we wanted to before heading back to the city.

Following our excursion, we stopped to take some pictures at the base of the Petronas Twin Towers. They were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and are still the tallest twin towers across the globe. Although we didn’t have time to go inside, seeing them up close and in person was amazing.

The rest of my time in KL was spent by the pool, while some of my colleagues went to check out the local malls. There is a lot to do in this city, but I still wanted to save some stuff to do for next time. Hopefully that time comes sooner rather than later!

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One of the best parts of my job, relaxing at the hotel pool

If you go: The Batu Caves are always busy, but we avoided the crowds by going during the week, around 9:00AM. Templer Park wasn’t that busy either. We were there from 10:30AM-11:30AM and were some of the only people in the park.

Next stop: Washington, D.C.

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Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

Happy International Flight Attendant Day!

Working as a flight attendant for a major airline can be a glamorous and exciting job, but it is also one that comes with a great deal of responsibility.

The safety and comfort of our passengers is always paramount. In fact, we undergo months of training to ensure we can handle any situation that arises onboard. From security to first aid, we do more than serve food and beverages on our flights!

Today we recognize this.

To my fellow crew, thank you for all that you do! 🙂

#‎UnitedByWings‬

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Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

Layover Life: Mahé, Seychelles

This hidden paradise was one of the best layovers I’ve had so far! Although it was only 14 hours in length, I still had the opportunity to explore the place.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Seychelles, it is composed of 115 islands and is located in the Indian Ocean off East Africa. I refer to it as a hidden paradise because I find not a lot of people know about it. At least, I didn’t until I was rostered to operate this flight!

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Your typical ‘Cabin Crew tourist’ photo from the resort.

There are many beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves to enjoy in Seychelles, but most of the crew decided that the best way to spend our time here would be on the resort. From the plane, we went directly to brunch before tanning, swimming and playing games together on the beach.

My favourite part of the entire trip was when I went for a walk along the shoreline with another Canadian crew that I met on the flight. The views we took in together were breathtaking. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like them before!

Following this little adventure, I went back to hotel to catch a quick nap before the flight back to Dubai. I really wish I could’ve spent more time here, so I’m adding it to my list of places that I need to go back and visit!

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Views from Seychelles!

If you go: Spend more then 14 hours there! lol

Next stop: Beirut, Lebanon (turnaround)

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Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company. For the safety and security of Emirates staff, the name of the resort Cabin Crew stay at has been withheld.

Back to school…!

Hello again!

The next three days I will be attending Emirates Aviation College for a Service Assessment. Should everything go well, I will complete my probationary period with Emirates and graduate on Thursday, April 28th!

These assessment days give Cabin Crew the chance to show management how they’ve grown and developed since they first started flying. It also allows Emirates to evaluate their service delivery (based on the following competencies: customer service orientation, teamwork, organizing for results and professionalism) to ensure Emirates service standards and procedures are being followed correctly onboard.

During this period, Cabin Crew are required to present a portfolio (containing tasks they were asked to complete over the past few months) to their seniors, participate in a series of group activities and write several tests to prove their competency.

Every GR2 Cabin Crew member [GR2=Economy Class] must complete this three day assessment prior to the end of their probation period in order to become official Cabin Crew with Emirates. As difficult as this all may sound, Cabin Crew have been flying for a while at this point in time. Everything will come naturally!

Things are going well for me so far, but I am really looking forward to walking across that stage on Thursday.

I’ll let you guys know how that goes!

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A small look at my portfolio. Cabin Crew are not required to be this creative- I just really enjoy arts and crafts!

Next Stop: Harare, Zimbabwe

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Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

 

Where I’ve been: a much needed update

Hey guys!

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting much lately. This is because I haven’t been flying.

I’ve said this before, but being a flight attendant is difficult. We often work at night, travel across time zones, and experience jet lag. As a result, we have to be super conscious of our health.

Remember to always take care of yourself, but also, surround yourself with people who can take care of you too. Your support system is everything, and I can’t thank my friends and Emirates family enough for the love they’ve shown me these past two weeks alone.

I have no doubt that I will be flying again soon, but I have had to take some time off for a bit. Hope you’ll still stick around!

Much love,

Kelsey

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Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

Layover Life: Hong Kong, China

I’ve only been to Asia twice, so when I saw Hong Kong on my roster this month I was thrilled! The city is known for its skyline and natural harbour, and is one of the world’s most densely populated metropolises.

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My flight arrived in Hong Kong fairly late in the evening on a Friday night, so the first thing the crew decided to do was head to the hotel bar. Our Captain was celebrating his birthday, which gave us the perfect excuse to go out for a night on the town.

There are plenty of clubs in Hong Kong, but we decided to head to Central Soho to a place called Drop. It was recommended to us by other crew, and ended up being a lot of fun. The venue was classy and had a cool, laid back vibe. The music ranged from nu-jazz, garage and classic house, and the crowd was fairly young. Needless to say, we had a good night!

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The next morning, we hopped on the tram and ventured to one of the cities most renown tourist locations- The Peak. It is the highest point on Hong Kong Island. Although it was foggy and we couldn’t see the city in it’s entirety, the view we did get was still gorgeous. On a good day, you would normally be able to see skyscrapers, Victoria Harbour and the green hills of the New Territories. Unfortunately, the only view we got was some rolling hills. Oh well!

Following this, we ventured to the Man Mo Temple– a Taoist temple in downtown Hong Kong. Built in 1847, it is said to be the oldest temple in the city. Visitors are able to purchase incense, light them and place them where they’d like in the temple. It was a cool experience.

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If you go: The Peak is always busy, but I don’t recommend going on a Saturday like we did. Fortunately we went early enough that we missed the massive line-up (around 9:30AM), but I’m pretty sure we got lucky. I also wouldn’t recommend going on a foggy day like we did!

With regards to the temple, I wouldn’t recommend it to those who do not like smoke. There are a lot of incense burning throughout it, and it sticks to your clothing.

Next Stop: Amman, Jordan (turnaround) then back to New York!

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Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company. For the safety and security of Emirates staff, the name of the resort Cabin Crew stay at has been withheld.

Layover Life: New York City!

Ahhh, New York City! There’s so much to do here that I had a hard time deciding where I was going to go. Thankfully a friend of mine came to the Big Apple to meet me, so I didn’t have to make decisions on my own!

My layover was cut short due to the weather coming out of Dubai, but we still managed to visit Central Park, Times Square and two restaurants: Hard Rock Cafe and Tavern on the Green.

We arrived in NYC at about 7:00pm, and the first thing on my mind upon checking into our hotel was food (of course). With our hotel located a few blocks away from Times Square, we decided to venture that way for dinner. I have been to New York City before, so I knew exactly where I wanted to eat- Hard Rock Cafe. I love this chain, and want to visit each location across the globe. Why? The atmosphere, the staff, the food and the experience they provide their customers. I also LOVE rock music and the displays they have in their restaurants.

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Checking out Times Square!

Following dinner, we proceeded to walk around Times Square. Times Square is a major commercial intersection and neighborhood, brightly adorned with billboards and advertisements. It is one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections as it is constantly bustling with people.

There are tons of touristy shops in the Square that are worth checking out, as well as your typical branded stores. Considering that the DXB-JFK flight averages about 13 hours in duration, after all of this excitement we called it a night.

As soon as we woke up the next day, we ventured to Central Park. It was also a few blocks from our hotel. Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States. Established in 1857 on 778 acres of land, it is also one of the most filmed locations in the world.

We were hoping to find a nice restaurant to have brunch, and we weren’t disappointed when we stumbled upon Tavern on the Green.  According to the restaurant’s website, it was originally designed by Calvert Vaux and built in 1870 to house the sheep that grazed in the park’s Sheep Meadow. It has been serving visitors since 1934 and centres its menu around local, seasonal ingredients. The food was delicious, and the venue itself was gorgeous. Take a look:

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How good does our brunch at Tavern on the Green look!? Eggs benedict, scrambled eggs with wild mushrooms and toast, complete with a mimosa and sparkling peach beverage.

Following brunch, we continued to walk around the park. There were musical performances, street vendors and lots of people out and about taking advantage of the beautiful day.

I’m really looking forward to flying back to NYC this week.

If you go: Definitely visit Times Square at night. It is beautifully lit and doesn’t have the same effect during the day. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from there too, but they’re all fairly pricy. Be prepared for that!

If you go to Central Park, brunch at Tavern on the Green is highly recommended. It is pricy too, but the experience is worth it. If you choose to dine there, you should make a reservation because it can get busy. You can also check out the menu before you’re like me and are hesitant to try something new!

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Walking the streets of New York City!

Next Up: New York, again! I recently spent a week off in Dubai and had a short layover in Chennai, India which I will be writing about shortly. Stay tuned!

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Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company. For the safety and security of Emirates staff, the name of the resort Cabin Crew stay at has been withheld.

Hotel hacks every flight attendant should know about

Prior to becoming Cabin Crew, I didn’t travel very often. Two months into flying and I’m still struggling to pack less and travel light! Despite this, there are a few hotel hacks that I’ve caught onto and thought that they would be worth sharing. Whether you’re currently crew, becoming crew or are even a frequent traveller, here are some things you should take note of:

1. Hotel reward programs are your best friend.

Depending on your airline (if you’re a flight attendant) and the hotel you’re staying at, you may be eligible for some sort of reward program. Usually, airlines book rooms on behalf of their crew using the same chain internationally. If this chain happens to have a reward program that you qualify for, you could start racking up those travel points quite quickly!

While travelling, I was introduced to Marriott Rewards. It was free, and comes with complementary internet service at every Marriott Hotel worldwide. Flight attendants are able to transfer the points accumulated by their airline to this reward card free of charge. Those points can be used to redeem free nights and other rewards.

2. Use those complimentary items!

Hotels generally give guests complementary items such as shampoo, shower caps, soap, slippers…the list goes on. Take it, or leave it, but keep in mind they are free of charge. Saving money as a flight attendant can be a hard thing to do and cutting costs where you can helps. I personally save these items and bring them to a shelter when I collect a large amount. The truth is, a lot of the time these items will be thrown out if not used.

So, what should you do with those items that aren’t able to be donated?

  • Shower caps: Believe it or not, but they act as great bags to keep your dirty shoes or smaller laundry (such as undergarments) in before you put them into your suitcase. If you’re Emirates Cabin Crew, it’s the perfect carrying case for your little red hat!
  • Notepads and pens: When you’re a flight attendant, your pens and notepads tend disappear out of nowhere. When you’re taking orders or information from customers on a flight, you need to right it down no matter how busy the flight is. When on layovers, I always grab them from my room. They’re also super handy to carry with you in general.
  • Tea and coffee: As Cabin Crew, we are able to help ourselves to beverages on the aircraft, but they can get old with time. It’s always nice to be able to try something new, so I tend to grab a few complementary bags of tea and coffee from my room to save for the flight home.

3. If it’s not free, there is a good chance it’s discounted.

Being a flight attendant has it’s perks, and discounts at local tourist attractions and restaurants are usually one of them. When you’re constantly travelling the world, it’s hard to save money. I always make an effort to go out of my way to visit places that are the most affordable. Hotel concierges are usually able to give Cabin Crew a rundown of where to go, but it never hurts to call around/ask the places you are visiting directly if they are able to offer you a special price for their services.

If you’re a frequent flyer, sometimes airlines will have discounts at certain restaurants and businesses too. If not, I always recommend trying “deal finder” websites like Groupon. They often offer deals and coupons for restaurants, spas, hotels, shopping vouchers and things to do.

4. Staying in during your layover? Don’t pay for those movies!

As a flight attendant, you are usually offered free or discounted wifi at the hotel you stay at. If your TV has an HDMI input (which most do), then you can stream video online from your computer, tablet, or phone. You could do this without the TV, but why not make use of it if it’s there?

If your internet isn’t free, it’s most likely better for you to purchase an internet package instead of a single movie. At least that’s been the case in my experience, anyway!

5. Use the “do not disturb” sign.

When you’re travelling, you have almost every form of I.D. imaginable on you, and probably some valuables too. As a result, I always keep my “do not disturb” sign outside my door for the length of my trip. This is to ensure that no one knows if I’m in my room or not. Having my valuables stolen out of my hotel room is actually a huge fear of mine and this helps to put my mind at ease.

6. Don’t use the “clean room” sign, unless you NEED to.

The ‘clean room’ sign not only tells housekeeping that you would like your room cleaned, but it also tells every else in the hotel that you’re not in the room. If you do need your room cleaned, make sure you use the safe.

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What hotel hacks are you aware of? Let me know, and I might add it to the list!

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Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

Layover Life: Washington, D.C.

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting the capital of the United States- Washington, D.C. Having received an undergraduate degree in political science, and having previously worked in political communications, this was probably one of the most exciting layovers I’ve had to date. It has always been a dream of mine to visit The White House, and it finally came true!

Our flight from Dubai arrived in Washington around 8:00am, so we decided to head downtown as soon as we settled into the hotel. Thankfully, the Metro was close to where we were staying, and we were able to get to Capitol Hill in 30 minutes.

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We made it to The White House!

As anxious as I was to venture around the city, food always comes first! We stumbled upon an Elephant and Castle after hopping off the train, and I couldn’t have been happier. Why? POUTINE WAS ON THE MENU! This classic “Canadian dish” is hard to find in Dubai, and everyone looks at me like I’m crazy whenever I try to find it on a menu.

Following our eats, we walked down to The White House and along Constitution Avenue- snapping some Instagram pictures along the way before calling it a day. There is a lot to do in the city, but when you have less then 24 hours it’s impossible to do everything.

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So much to do in downtown Washington, but not enough time. I’ll be back!

If you go,  my advice to you would be to plan your time accordingly. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on some things like we did. I didn’t get to see go ol’ Abraham Lincoln because we ran out of time!

Next stop: Mumbai, India (turnaround). I recently went to Madrid though, and will be posting about it in the next day or so!

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Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company. For the safety and security of Emirates staff, the name of the resort Cabin Crew stay at has been withheld.