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.

FullSizeRender (21).jpg

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:

FullSizeRender (22).jpg

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!

IMG_5113edit.jpg

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!

—-

Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

—-

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.

IMG_3773.JPG

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

——–

Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

——–

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.

FullSizeRender (17)

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.

IMG_4024

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!

—-

Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

—-

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.

 

Emirates in the news

New Emirates route flies non-Stop Dubai-Auckland

An Emirates Airbus A380 landed safely in Auckland, NZ from Dubai, UAE on Wednesday, completing the world’s longest non-stop scheduled commercial flight.

The route covered a span of 14,200km (8,824 miles) and was also the longest in duration, with passengers spending 17 hours 15 minutes in the air during the return leg from Auckland to Dubai.

This new service will be an addition to the award-winning airline’s existing flights, meaning that Emirates will then have five services daily into New Zealand: three A380 double-decker services to Auckland via Australia, a daily Christchurch service with a Boeing 777-300ER, and the new non-stop service operated with a Boeing 777-200LR.

The inaugural Dubai-Auckland flight was made by an A380 but regular service on this route will be carried out using the Boeing 777.

This record is expected to be short-lived by Emirates’ upcoming Dubai-Panama City service launching later this month. It will take an estimated 17 hours 35 minutes.

The purpose of these lengthy flights according to the airline is to “encourage even more trade and tourism between [these] countries, by offering more choice to passengers and freight customers”.

Hello Hamburg

Emirates Cabin Crew recently performed their newest “safety video” showing off their football skills to HSV fans in Hamburg, Germany. This comes four months after their successful performance in Lisbon, where they demonstrated a similar routine in front of 65,000 Sport Lisboa e Benfica fans.

New business class seats coming soon

As the world’s largest international airline and a leader in developing innovative products to enhance its passenger comfort in air travel, Emirates has announced that it will reveal a new Business Class seat for the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft at ITB Berlin on 9th March.

Inspired by the interior of a modern sports car, the seats will have a diamond stitch pattern of a light grey full leather cove and an ergonomically designed headrest to give it a sleek overall look and feel. Designed with enhanced customer comfort in mind, the new seat has a pitch of 72 inches and can be electrically moved into a fully flat sleeping position at 180 degrees.

What do you think?

I always love hearing what you guys have to say! Be sure to reach out to me:

Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

——–

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

Layover Life: Manchester, United Kingdom

Well, I had planned to share with you what I got up to in Frankfurt, Germany BUT I ended up getting some much needed rest in my hotel room instead. SO, I made sure to get out and about on the layover that followed- Manchester, United Kingdom.

To be honest, before visiting I didn’t know much about the city. I try not to do a lot of research on the destinations I fly to just because I enjoy the element of surprise and adventure. My expectation for Manchester? Football fans. Football fans everywhere. Of course, this was NOT the case!

IMG_3862.JPG

Walking through the downtown core

With two other members of crew, we grabbed a map from our hotel concierge and boarded a complimentary bus to the nearest metro station. After wandering around for 20 minutes, we finally found the train that would take us to the downtown core. Directions aren’t my jam, but we made it to Manchester Arndale eh-okay!

Manchester has tons of amazing bars and restaurants, but we settled on a recommendation given to us by fellow crew- Burger & Lobster. For 20 pounds, we were given the option of either lobster, a burger or a lobster roll. Each came with fries, salad and a drink. Let’s just say it didn’t disappoint!

IMG_3863

The burger at Burger & Lobster was SO good!

Following dinner, we took a stroll through the ‘Central Retail District’. A few stops here and there, and we headed back to the hotel. Having a 24 hour layover is great, but a lot of that time is spent sleeping. At least it is on my watch!

Next Stop: Colombo, Sri Lanka!

——–

Reach out to me on social media:

Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

——–

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

 

Layover life: Singapore & Melbourne

Hey guys! My apologies for the delay in getting this post to you. I have been off sick for a week and haven’t been that active online. But I’m back, and I’ve got two new destinations to tell you about!

A week or so ago, I was given my first multi-sector flight. The trip was 6 days long, and took me from Dubai to Singapore, Singapore to Melbourne, Melbourne to Singapore, and Singapore back to Dubai.

Some background information- at the end of each sector, Cabin Crew are entitled to a rest break or layover. This time is allocated to us based on our destination and other factors such as the length of the flight we are operating, the departure schedule of the route etc., BUT is usually around 24 hours long. During this time, we are given a hotel room to stay in and are free to do as we like. (Within limits, of course).

That being said, I had the pleasure of spending time in both Singapore and Melbourne. Here’s what I got up to:

Singapore 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Gardens by the Bay – OCBC Skyway

When travelling, I try not to plan my day in advance. This is because I find that I have more fun when I go with the flow, instead of stressing over how many activities I can cram into a short period of time.

Singapore has a lot to offer, so I knew that whatever I got up to was going to be an adventure. After speaking with the staff at my hotel and some fellow Cabin Crew, a group of us decided to walk around downtown. This eventually led us to the Gardens by the Bay– which I highly recommend visiting if you ever get the chance!

Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares (250 acres). It is part of a strategy by the Singapore government to transform Singapore from a “Garden City” to a “City in a Garden”. Capturing the essence of the region, the goal of this project is to raise the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city.

The gardens were stunning and the the OCBC Skyway within it provided us with some amazing views- which, of course, made for some great instagram photos!

Aside from the gardens, we also visited the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Clarke Quay area of the city.

Melbourne

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Taking in the street art at Flinders Lane and Cocker Alley

I’ve said this before in previous posts, but Australia reminds me of my home back in Canada! From the weather, to the architecture, to the people, I really love it here. This was my second time visiting the country, and I happened to be in Melbourne on Australia Day!

Australia Day is the official National Day of Australia and occurs on the 26th of January. Some history for you- it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove. To celebrate, tons of events are held across the country.

While in Melbourne, a group of us stumbled upon the annual Australian Day Parade when we were touring the downtown core. The streets were full of people decked out in Aussie gear and everyone was having a great time.

Keeping with the festive Australian vibe, following the parade we decided to check out some of the street art that Melbourne is known for. We walked around Flinders Lane and Cocker Alley, and ended up visiting the Fitzroy Gardens on our way back to the hotel.

If you ever get the chance to visit Melbourne, I highly recommend signing up for a street art tour. I wasn’t able to join one given the short time I was in the city for, but I wish someone would had been with us to speak to some of the work we saw!

Next Up

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

In the coming days I will be heading to Frankfurt, Germany followed by Manchester, United Kingdom. I haven’t been to Europe in years, so I’m really looking forward to spending time there.

Remember- if you have any questions pleaseeeeeee feel free to ask me by leaving a reply below. I’ll try my best to respond to you as soon as I can. Thanks for following!

——–

Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

——–

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

 

My First Layover: Sydney, Australia

This week was my first operational flight on the A380, and it was a lot of fun! I flew direct from DXB-SYD and had a 24 hour layover in Sydney’s downtown core before heading back home.

Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities. Known for its harbourfront Opera House and infamous Bondi Beach, you can guess where my new friends and I ended up going.

We also wandered through the Royal Botanic Gardens, the State Library of New South Wales and St. Mary’s Cathedral.

The city itself reminded me of my home in Toronto, except that it was quieter given that there weren’t as many people on the streets. Curious about this, I spoke to the concierge when we returned to our hotel. He claimed that it had a lot to do with the weather. It’s currently summer there, but we happened to be out on a cooler day. (In my opinion, it didn’t feel cool at all. It felt like summer back in Canada. But I guess that’s saying something)!

I really enjoyed my time in Australia and am excited to return at the end of the month. I am rostered for a multi-sector (DXB-SIN, SIN-MEL, MEL-SIN, SIN-DXB) and will be in Melbourne for Australian Day!

That being said, be sure to fasten your seat belts. My next trip is going to be a good one!

12508852_10153394836021270_3199033903661139089_n

12400758_10153394834916270_1386518759750906580_n

——–

Twitter: @KelseyBelleTO

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

——–

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