The longest flight the boy and I have ever taken was 16 hours from DC to Johannesburg on South African Airways. And let me tell you, if the boredom from being on a flight that long doesn’t kill you, being in a metal tube filled with germs just might.
There is nothing worse than coming back from a relaxing vacation with the coronavirus.
Flying in the air cramped with a few hundred strangers, breathing recycled air mixed with germs and bacteria, eating processed food isn’t exactly the healthiest of activities. Add to that, flying through multiple time zones and sitting in an uncomfortable seat (for those of us not living that business class lifestyle) will leave you feeling exhausted and dehydrated when you get to your destination.
Traveling is not easy. And it’s not always cute and Instagram worthy. Don’t let anyone lie to you like that. You’re in a new land whose culture and language are completely alien to you. The people can be friendly or the customs confusing. The food and smells and be disorienting. Travel is an adventure and not for the faint of heart.
To date, I have been to 42 countries, visiting a few of them more than once. I’ve traveled with the boy, solo, or with friends and in each country I visit, I’ve developed a routine of sorts to help me move about a foreign land a bit easier.
Whenever I am looking to book a ticket, one of the first websites I go to is Skyscanner. Often, this means that I will end up booking my ticket through a third party website. Which means I will sometimes have a long layover somewhere to help curb the costs. (I don’t know why this curbs costs, but whatever)
On our recent trip to Brussels, we had a 13-hour layover in Istanbul going there and a 23-hour layover coming back. That’s a looooooong time to be sitting in an airport when you don’t have lounge access. So once the ticket was confirmed, I began looking online to see if the airline or the airport offers a free hotel say.
Anyone who has ever been on a plane can tell you that airline food isn’t the best. Sometimes you can luck out and get a pretty good meal or two. One of the best airline meals I’ve ever had was on Air New Zealand where I got shepherd’s pie and on another flight I got some chicken and rice dish that made me ask for seconds. (I really did ask the lady for more)
But some of the meal options can leave you and your little ones a bit cranky on a long haul flights. So I’m offering some suggestions on how I’ve survived long flights a picky eater.
So, we are headed to Brussels and I noticed that my ticket had a 13-hour layover. I tried to get a free hotel from Turkish Airlines, but that didn’t work out. (More on that later) But we were offered a tour of Istanbul for free99! So we took it. I mean…what else were we gonna do in the airport for that long?
I’ve traveled a lot in these last few years. And while most of you may think I’m somewhat of an expert, it’s only because I’ve made a few mistakes a long the way. Okay…I’ve made a lot and each of them has helped me learn how to be a more effective traveler. Especially when traveling with kids, you sometimes can’t afford to make such grave mistakes while traveling with your young ones.
The boy and I spent a week at an all-inclusive resort in Hurghada, Egypt recently and BOY ARE WE SPOILED!!! It’s called the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel. This place was so amazing that we will most likely never go back to using a “regular” hotel ever again (if we can help it).
The water slides, the food, the staff, it was beyond anything we could have imagined. I could go on and on about this place, but instead I’ll just outline the top 5 reasons why you should look into an all-inclusive resort for you next family vacation.