August Roster

My roster for the month of August has arrived, and I couldn’t be more excited! I have been blessed with three new destinations (*) and a few quick turnaround flights:

  • Toronto, Canada
  • Paris, France *
  • Dublin, Ireland *
  • Brisbane, Australia *
  • Doha, Qatar (turnaround) x2
  • London, England
  • Chennai, India (turnaround)

This means that I will have a lot more photos and blog posts to share with you guys in the coming weeks. I hope you’ll stay tuned!

Next stop: Cairo, Egypt (turnaround)

Edit: I previously stated that I was going to Hamburg, Germany and Los Angeles, U.S.A. I ended up swapping them for a Toronto flight home and a flight to Australia! 

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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: Month of May

My apologies for the lack of updates in May! I applied for my annual leave this month, and had the opportunity to visit my friends and family back in Canada for two weeks.

All full-time Emirates employees are entitled to paid annual leave. The number of working hours of this time provided per calendar year is related to our job grade. As Cabin Crew, we get about 30 days a year and a round trip ticket home courtesy of the airline.

Over the course of the two weeks I spent a lot of my time between cities in Southern Ontario. This included London where I was born and raised, Hamilton where I attended University and Toronto where I was working before moving to Dubai.

One of my favourite memories from my journey home was celebrating the Victoria Day May 2-4 long weekend with some of my old classmates at a friend’s cottage in Fenelon Falls. I love the city life, but nothing beats Ontario cottage country this time of year!

Despite all of this excitement, I’m looking forward to returning to the skies! My roster for the month of June will be out in the next couple of days and I can’t wait to share it with you.

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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.

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: Madrid, Spain

Hola! This week I had the pleasure of visiting Madrid, Spain. A lot of Cabin Crew bid for this destination, so I was really surprised to see it on my roster this month!

After speaking to a few Cabin Crew on board our flight to Madrid, a few of us decided that we were going to go out and explore the city together. There is a lot to do in Madrid, so we headed downtown right away to try and see as much as we could within the 24 hours that we had.

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Entering Plaza Mayor

We hopped on the Metro and went to Puerta del Sol or “Gate of the Sun,” first- one of the top places to visit in the city. This is because it is the location of the statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree, which are considered to be a symbol of Madrid. Casa de Correos, (the city’s governmental headquarters) and Kilometer Zero (a plaque showing the point where the measuring of the national highway system begins) are also there too, so the area is constantly bustling with people.

From Puerta del Sol, we ventured to Plaza Mayor a few blocks away where we had lunch. The plaza dates back to 1619 and was used to host bullfights. The structures in the plaza are a sight to see, most decorated with frescoes (a mural painting technique). There is also a statue of Philip III on horseback in the middle of it, as well as several restaurants and tourist shops around the plaza.

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Plaza Mayor

We decided to grab lunch at Don Calamar (I swear that’s what it was called, but I can’t find it online anywhere to link you guys), which was recommended to by Cabin Crew. There, we enjoyed some authentic spanish tapas and some sangria before going to Mercado de San Miguel (The Market of San Miguel) and grabbing some churros!

Lastly, we ventured to Palacio Real (Madrid’s Royal Palace). Built in 1764, the palace served as the royal residence beginning with Carlos III. We didn’t go inside, but 50 of the structure’s rooms are open to the public. We also walked around the Plaza de Oriente (a beautiful plaza containing 20 sculptures of Spanish kings) and the Campo del Moro Gardens which are all in the same area.

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Plaza de Oriente

If you go to Madrid, you’ll notice that a lot of the tourist attractions are close to one another. I highly recommend visiting all of the above places- it only took us a few hours to walk around and everything was stunningly beautiful.

Next Stop: Mumbai, India (turnaround). Then off to New York City!

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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.