Nearly all of us are ready to get the suitcases down and pack them up for travel.
Here are our top 10 Travel Bug tips for flying this summer:
10. Carry an external battery in your carry-on, just in case your flights are delayed and you need more power for finishing the Obi-Wan series.
9. Bring snacks - the non-strong-smelling kind.
8. Purchase noise cancelling headphones. This will completely upgrade your flying experience. Pay attention to boarding directions because you won't be able to hear a blessed thing.
7. Consider joining an airport lounge. This is a huge benefit if you're spending more than 90 minutes in the airport. A couple to consider are the Delta Sky Club or the American Express Centurion Lounge. Double check that your favorite airports have these before joining.
6. Bring an empty refillable water bottle. It's important to stay hydrated, and most airports have refilling stations near the bathrooms. However, if you go with option seven you won't need your own water bottle!
5. Purchase travel protection for peace of mind.
4. Have the airline app on your phone to help with updates and delays. It will also alert you when your flight is boarding (in case you're really into your episode of Obi Wan and miss the loudspeaker buzz).
3. And that brings us to number three... download movies or episodes of your favorite shows to your phone. Somehow this is the one I tend to forget, and airport wifi is not the best. Prepare by downloading at home while you pack.
2. Even if you bring a checked bag, have at least three days of clothes with you in your carry-on and all your medications. Bags are rarely lost, however, if you are separated from your bags it can take up to three days to track them down. Be prepared to enjoy the first few days of your vacation by bringing the most important items in your carry-on, plus some spare outfits.
1. Pack your patience. There will most likely be some unforeseen events while you travel. Take a breath and be kind. Give yourself grace, and then get in line to speak to the desk agent. While you're waiting, check the app, put in a call, do what you need to do to adjust. The gate agent has a lot of power, so be very nice when asking for help.
We also highly recommend using a travel professional that specializes in the destination where you are traveling to. If there's an issue you have an advocate in your corner working hard to smooth things out. Check out their reviews or go with a friend's recommendation. Google is a great source for travel agent referrals too.
Traveling and getting out and about can be fun with a little prep. Let's get out there and take that hard-earned vacation!
On a recent visit to Walt Disney World Resort, we visited the new restaurant at Epcot, Space 220.
The theming is very fun and outer-space themed.
When you arrive, you are put on an elevator that takes you 220 miles above the earth (visually, not literally). It gives you the feeling of departing and then arriving, which contributes to the feeling of leaving Epcot and going to outer space.
Once you "arrive" you are taken in to the main dining area, which is surrounded with images of earth and an occasional astronaut or space craft. It's very relaxing, and I can see this being a fantastic way to get out of the heat in mid-day summer.
For this particular day, it was a great way to get out of the cold and wind.
Our waiter was great and made fantastic drink recommendations.
The Planetary Punch is great and they smoke!
My drink was called the Red Star. Not too sweet but a lot of fun.
We tried the infamous fried cauliflower, "Blue Moon Cauliflower".
Spoiler alert: it didn't taste like cauliflower! Everyone at our table enjoyed it and decided we would order it again.
Next, our entrees arrived. First pictured, the Seared Tuna.
I enjoyed it! The flavors were great, and it wasn't a heavy dish.
Next at the table was the Bluehouse Salmon.
And the Flat Iron Steak.
We skipped desert so we could head outside and eat some deconstructed Key Lime pie.
Overall, we enjoyed our experience and will be recommending this restaurant to clients who are looking to upscale their dining experience at Epcot.
It's a really fun experience, the food was fantastic, atmosphere was unique and befitting of a themed restaurant experience.
It reminded me just a bit of Sci-Fi drive-in, but with upgraded food.
Is this restaurant for you? Send us a message and we can talk about the best dining for your next trip!
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Thanks for reading!
If you, like Olaf, say put me in summer and I'll be a - Happy Snowman! then I have some travel tips just for you.
Summer is a great time to go to the parks. The kids are out of school, everybody is ready for some fun and sun and family time. Let's go to Walt Disney World! With a few techniques, you will have an even more magical experience.
Read on for tried and true hot weather travel tips from a travel professional!
Top 10 Tips for Summer Trips
10 - Ponchos. Bring a disposable poncho or rain gear for every day in the parks. If you can wait out the rain, the crowds will be lower and you’ll have the park to yourself!
9 - Sandals or waterproof shoes. Bring a pair of flip flops or wear water proof shoes or my favorite, these sandals. If you’re wearing athletic shoes these will get soaked and you can get trench foot in the parks (not really). NO ONE wants to walk around in wet, squishy shoes.
8 - Bring a cooling towel or portable, rechargeable fan.
7 - Stay hydrated! You can get cups of ice water from quick service locations and bottled water is available in the parks. You can also get bottled water delivered to your room from Amazon Prime now or other grocery delivery services.
6 - See a show! While you are in the park, plan to see a show in the early afternoon or have an indoor dining reservation so you can cool off.
5 - Cold sweet treats! Dole whip, Mickey bars, Kakamora float, or a gelato.
4 - Water parks and more option! Disney has two fun and fantastic water parks and if we add this option to your tickets you get one visit to the water park per day of your ticket.
So if you have a 5-day ticket you get 5 visits to the waterparks!
3 - Loose, breathable clothing or quick dry attire is a must.
2 - Hats and sunscreen.
1 - Take a break! This is my number one recommendation especially if you are traveling with young kids. They need a time to recharge so you can come back and enjoy those new nighttime spectaculars! Relax, swim, or take a nap and you’ll be ready to hit the ground running.
Ready to plan a summer trip?
A short trip report from 2020.
Magic Kingdom on re-opening day was all that I wanted it to be and more. The Cast Members were lined up along Main St waving and smiling (under their masks), with many saying how happy they were to see us and how they had been preparing for our visit.
I am all for responsible travel, and Disney is doing a great job keeping guests safe.
There were social distancing markers throughout the park, and as it was opening day some were added if the line got to be longer than there were markers for. There were Cast Members monitoring spaces and reminding guests to wear their masks properly.
Is the Magic still there?
In a word: yes.
As a Disney fan and one who's job revolves around the parks, I am so happy when I get to visit.
Why is Disney so special?
It isn't just one thing, but a beautiful combination of music, the immersive-like quality of the "Disney Bubble", the food, the Cast Members, feeling as excited as a kid when you see your favorite characters, screaming like a wild person as you plummet down Splash Mountain, staying in a resort, not having to drive, memorable smells that tie you to your happy place, and many other little things that stack up to make Disney a unique and wonderful vacation - especially if you have a travel professional to take care of every detail leading up to and during your trip!
It is special for many reasons, and yours may be different than my list above!
There are many changes to the park this year, some temporary and some are permanent, like the updated paint job for the castle.
All ride queues have social distancing markers and plexiglass dividers (if needed) to keep groups apart.
Hours have been adjusted for all the parks and as of this writing there are no evening shows.
Transportation has been modified to reflect new opening and closing hours, with some options like the Friendship Boats reactivating on November 1.
Disney is still using the DAS pass for those who need it. You will go through the interview process on your first day, just as before, and then utilize the Fastpass queue when it is time for you to ride. It's almost like a VIP tour!
Most restaurants are using mobile ordering or mobile check-in through the MyDisneyExperience app.
How's the food? I'm so glad you asked!
I'm happy to report that the waffles are as delicious as ever. And the ice cream?
Character interaction is adjusted to over-the-shoulder selfies.
And you can see characters throughout the day during spontaneous cavalcades. We even saw Merida ride through on her horse, which was pretty spectacular.
If you'd like to see more videos and other first-hand experiences, check out my story highlights on Instagram under the re-opening heading.
You can connect with me on Instagram here travel_bug_company, and on Facebook Travel Bug Company.
When you're ready to plan your trip to the Most Magical Place On Earth, I'd be delighted to chat! Click the button below to choose a time that works for you. Or send me an email at email@example.com
Fall in the parks is one of my favorite times of the year to visit, with September being my ultimate favorite for the one-two combination punch of low crowds and great rates. If your schedule is flexible or if you have fall break options for October or like to celebrate Halloween in the parks, let's chat about why it's a great time to visit!
Plus, if late summer travel is possible and you want to experience the Halloween party, those are beginning in mid-August!
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
This Halloween party is unlike any you've ever seen! With rare characters to meet, special snacks you can only find at the party, a unique parade and fabulous fireworks, it's a spectacle for the whole family!
Wear your costumes (no masks please), and you and your kids can trick or treat around the whole park. The event is only open to ticket holders, so plan accordingly. I have some tips and tricks to help you make the most of this magic event that's a favorite of my clients!
Epcot's Food and Wine Festival
Creme brûlée, poutine and croissant doughnuts are just a few of the things you can find at the seasonal Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. And now with the Skyliner open, we have even more ways to travel to Epcot to try out these booths.
Most choices are a snack credit if you're on the dining plan, and meandering through the park to try your favorites is a lovely way to experience a new side of Epcot. There's also a scavenger hunt for the kids and a brand new ride opening Summer 2020, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure. Hint: I've ridden this when we visited the parks at Disneyland Paris, and it is going to be a treat for your whole family!
Great pools at on-site resorts and swimmable weather
Staying at a Disney Resort becomes a part of your vacation and can offer fantastic benefits like early reservation choices for dining and better Fastpasses (for Disney World), the best transportation options and a level of quality and service that adds that extra pixie dust to your family's trip.
On our last trip to Disneyland we met Goofy and Chip just walking through the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel! It added a lot of fun to our afternoon.
If your kids are fans of pools the themed pools are super fun, like the water slide shown above or my favorite resort pool at the Yacht and Beach Club at Disney World, featuring a sandy area for younger kids to play, a huge pirate ship water slide and a lazy river.
We love meeting characters! It's part of the fun of a Disney vacation.
Ready to plan a trip? Check out these reviews and send me a message for a time to chat about your family's trip. It will be the best ever with a Disney expert in your pocket to help guide you to the best rides, when to ride them and someone to help recommend the best dining and resort options for your family's needs.