Day One – Our American Dream 🇺🇸🇺🇸

Yay we’ve arrived in my favourite destination 🇺🇸🇺🇸An hour’s delay in the end so wasn’t too bad except for the a/c not working until the engines started. Which meant I felt like this 🔥 Instead of ❄️ think they were preparing us for the Florida Heatwave 🔥🔥. 

They could have replaced the APC unit before take off but would have been a 5 hour delay 😫😫

Thankfully they chose to roast us instead.

Upstairs in the bubble meant it was much more peaceful & quieter as 434 passengers onboard 👭👫👬 wow!!

Having saved our Virgin Atlantic miles like crazy for a year we managed to secure Premium seats out & Upper back, not bad for sticking everything on our credit cards & paying them straight off 💳💳

This is the third time we’ve done this, so it’s saved us literally thousands .💷💷

Mears Transportation Private Car had been pre booked 🚗🚗 & what a delight this was, so easy and absolutely no stress

My Son (13) was convinced I had booked him a stretch limo as a surprise 😆😆 er still trying to teach him money doesn’t grow on trees 🌴🌴💵💵

I must say I think we now have getting off the plane & through customs down to a fine art ✈️✈️

From aircraft doors to Universal’s Portofino Resort doors 1 hour & 15 minutes. 

This is our best yet.  

This is the first time we’ve left our Daughter behind at home for this long, hoping writing this blog she can feel she’s with us on our American Dream 🇺🇸🇺🇸

Missing you already sweetie 💓💓

Lake Tahoe California & The Alder Inn

Lake Tahoe California & The Alder Inn

 

We are starting to plan our next West Coast Road trip and it has bought back fond memories of our last one in 2012.

Sometimes I think its harder planning your own trip than helping others. It takes me forever to decide on which hotel we should stay in!!! Normally the higher star rating the more guarantee of a splendid hotel.

However this time when deciding on accommodation at Lake Tahoe I trusted the reviews on Tripadvisor as The Alder Inn was rated 1st in South Lake Tahoe. Its actually classed as a Motel and believe me I hesitated for ages before booking but I’m glad I made the decision and followed the reviews. It’s family run and the advice they give us as it was our first visit to the area was outstanding.

We were checked in and shown to our room The Audrey Hepburn Room. I love these colours and felt right at home here. As you can see from the pictures everything is colour co-ordinated even the bathroom matched!!

 

The Motel is a great location for walking to the Lake, going to nearby Heavenly and seeing the outstanding views from the top of the Mountain after riding the cable car. We even watched an open air concert and saw a paddling boarding competition.

We hired a speedboat to cruise around the Lake and was so impressed we went back and did it again the next day.

You can hire bikes and follow the trail, eat ice cream at the local ice-cream parlour or just relax on the local beach.

We did it all!!!

It’s on our list to visit again on the next road trip. It’s such a peaceful place to stay and we really didn’t want to leave to continue our trip.

I will leave you with some pictures of the breathtaking views.

 

 

 


I think you will agree the pictures speak for themselves.

If you need any help planning your road trip whether its in the USA or the rest of the world then please get in touch. I’m here to help.

 

Hand Luggage Beauty products. I have a challenge for you!!

Can you fit this:

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Into this??

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As most airlines now charge you to place your baggage into the hold more and more of us are trying to squeeze all holiday belongings into our hand luggage. Clothes, shoes, electrical equipment AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS!! How does one fit all their products into this tiny bag. I personally would rather pay for my big suitcase and not have to leave my beloved beauty products behind!!! BUT..

If you’re having that extra short break or off on a Hen Party abroad and costs need to be kept to a minimum, then hand luggage only is the way to go. I know of a few Hen parties travelling this summer with hand luggage only. Up for the challenge Hens!!

Did you know that you are only allowed one of these plastic bags per person and it must close completely. It must include all of the list below!!!

Liquids include:

  • cosmetics and toiletries, including creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, mascara and lip gloss
  • sprays, including shaving foam, hairspray and spray deodorants
  • pastes, including toothpaste
  • gels, including hair and shower gel
  • contact lens solution
  • any other solutions and items of similar consistency

If you do take liquids in your hand luggage:

  • containers must hold no more than 100ml
  • containers should be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
  • contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be sealed
  • the bag must not be knotted or tied at the top
  • you’re limited to 1 plastic bag per person

Does this seem impossible to you?

I’m always up for a challenge and WOULD love you to join me. Please show me your results by tweet, email or replying below and lets see who can get the most into their teeny weeny plastic bag!!

I look forward to seeing the results. I will then do another post with the results and the best beauty products to SQUEEZE into your bag…..

Have fun!!!

Winter Holiday Beauty Tips

 

Working in the Travel Industry can find you in hot sunny climates one minute and in cold chilling temperatures the next.

Here are a few of my WINTER HOLIDAY beauty tips:

LIPS

There’s nothing worse than sore cracked lips, it feels horrible and doesn’t look good either. I use EOS lip balm and when I travel I use Lemon Drop as it has SPF15. I carry it around with me all the time , it makes my lips lovely and smooth. Lemon Drop is packed with antioxidant-rich vitamin E and natural conditioning oils to keep your lips moist while protecting them from the sun. Keep one in your pocket and reapply on the slopes.

 

HAIR

Your hair can get matted when exposed to the snow and wind. If you’ve got long hair and you’ve been skiing before, you will be well aware of the agony involved in brushing your hair after a day on the slopes. My best advice is to tuck your hair away and protect it from the elements. Hard I know when your wearing a helmet but if you tie it in a bun firmly at the base of your neck you should be fine. If you’re stopping off for some Apres Ski on your way home you can always let your hair down, literally!!!

 

HANDS

Although when you’re skiing your hands are covered its still important to keep them moisturised. Neom Luxury Organics have a hand cream with the scent of Moroccan Blush Rose. Loving this smell!! It rubs in easy and makes your hands feel so smooth.  Apply before and after you hit the slopes.

 

Need anymore information or planning to book a ski holiday then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. Check out the Chalets on VIP Ski’s website too. Their fab!!

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World Sleep Day

 

Did you know today is World Sleep Day??
World Sleep Day is an annual event, intended to be a celebration of sleep. It is organized by the World Sleep Day Committee and aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.
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Over the next few weeks I will be on my travels and staying in various hotels around the globe. I’ve been recommended the L’occitane Lavender Pillow Mist. Hopefully its going to help me sleep like a baby whatever hotel room I’m in!!
Look out for my review.  I’ll let you know if it worked!!

Paradise in the Maldives

Ok, so The Maldives have been at the top of my ‘Travel Wish List’ for over 20 years. For one reason or another we never got to get there until a couple of months ago and oh my I can’t wait to go back already!!!

Is this Paradise? Silly question of course it is but until you actually visit you really can’t appreciate how perfect it is.

On our ‘Must Have List’ we had; a seaplane transfer and it must be All Inclusive with a room on the beach. I spent a long time researching which island to go to and narrowed it down to a few.  Vilamendhoo had the right price for the right departure date.

The day finally came and off we went. We flew on the new Dreamliner. Impressive yes, being 6 foot tall legroom is a major issue on most airlines. As we didn’t book too far in advance we couldn’t get the premium cabin and extra legroom seats were already booked. I was apprehensive but needn’t have worried as I had enough legroom and it wasn’t too bad when the guy in front reclined his seat.

When we arrived we were taken to the Private Lounge in the Seaplane Terminal and had complimentary cool drinks before boarding our seaplane. The 25 minute journey was spectacular and I couldn’t believe the views. Whenever I return I will choose another island with a seaplane transfer.

When we arrived on the Island we were taken to the day lounge/bar and were refreshed with cold drinks and cool towels. We were then shown personally to our rooms. OURS WAS PERFECT!! On the best part of the beach and our villa was detached. The outside bathroom was my concern beforehand but it actually felt right and the outside jacuzzi was lovely.

We had the most relaxing time ever. We laid and relaxed on the beach or went snorkelling. We went on a Sunset Cruise and experienced a couples massage. It was heavenly.

We had never snorkelled before but it was my mission to have a go and WOW the reef was amazing. I admit ‘The Drop’ took my breath away and freaked me out for a minute, it’s unbelievable how it literally just drops!!!  (Ever seen the film Finding Nemo??) I did take some photos that aren’t the best but was trying to swim, breathe and click click at the same time!!!

There were little sharks swimming around so close to the shore that you got used to them and the stingrays came pretty close too. I loved the way how shoals of fish would just appear and swim around you.

The WIFI connection was good and there was a Gym (although I never used it!!!)

We had a minibar in the room that was restocked twice a day and the cocktails were great from the bar. Champagne was delivered to our room on the second night and was enjoyed relaxing in the jacuzzi watching the ‘shooting stars’ pass by.

Our meals were taken in The Ahima Restaurant which is Adults only, our waiter Jamal was great and knew what drinks we had with lunch and which drinks we had with dinner. The food was outstanding, not your normal buffet there was so much to choose from and there was also a chef cooking certain dishes while you waited. Loved my morning omelettes.

The Asian Wok Restaurant set over the water is a lovely place to eat in the evenings. You can just go and have a drink there too. We went a couple of times, for an afternoon drink and another in the evening. It’s so peaceful to sit outside and watch the fish darting around and the stars are so bright.

I literally cannot fault the service or the Island. This was our dream holiday and I was very sad to leave after a week. Departures were organised and ran very smoothly.

Was this the perfect holiday?? YES YES YES, Would I return??? YES YES YES, although being in the Travel Industry I do try to venture to a different destination each time. AND as it was so perfect maybe I would be frightened the next time couldn’t top it.

Have you been to any of the Maldivian Islands?? Which one’s your favourite?? Do you choose a different one every time or have an old favourite??

Thanks for reading and remember if you need any help with a holiday to the Maldives or any other destination then please get in contact with me.

Venice by Orient Express

Travel to Venice in exquisite style.

I had the pleasure of travelling to Venice on the Venice Simplon Orient Express and Wow what an experience it was, prepare to take a step back in time.

The Cabins are comfortable with an upper and lower bed and are identically sized with a washbasin in a cupboard, but two can be connected to give more space and make a suite. I was surprised to hear on the trip people who didn’t realise there are no private facilities onboard. Toilets are at the end of your carriage and there are no showers; passengers are buying an experience of period travel.  The bar car with piano is the social hub of the train with great cocktails and there is a small shop of souvenirs to purchase.

The food is superb cuisine and is easily to Michelin-star standard, and the meals are served with silverware, crystal glass and posh napkins. All the courses were out of this world although we did have to bail out after so many courses and when the clock struck midnight we just couldn’t manage anymore of the superb food.  All the meals are provided, and a continental breakfast is served to you in the cabin. The service by all staff was exceptional.

To make the most of the experience, dress up. Most passengers make the effect with black tie and evening dresses for dinner and smart casual during the day. Some parties dress were actually dressed in period fashions. Jeans and trainers are definately a no no!!.

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I’m sure this is one journey that many passengers were ticking off their ‘To do Travel List’. Is this journey expensive? Yes of course however its an unique experience that many are willing to pay to experience. It’s a journey I would probably only take once but only because frankly there are so many other journeys I wish to experience along my travel path.

A few shots of the scenery enroute

And the style continued when we arrived into Venice with a stay at the breathtaking Danieli Hotel. The hotel is conveniently located overlooking the lagoon and just steps away from St. Mark’s Square, Palazzo Ducale and the Bridge of Sighs.

We started our day with breakfast on the rooftop and then onto St Marks Square and enjoyed the attractions of Palazzo Ducale, St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Belltower and the renowned Bridge of Sighs. 

Venice is definitely a city I will be returning to. I can highly recommend the Hotel Danieli and travelling down by the Orient Express is one journey I will never forget.

Have you ever travelled on this amazing Train? Do you agree that its probably a trip you would only do once.

Have you visited Venice? As you can see from my pictures we were there to experience a very high tide and St Marks Square including restaurants and shops were flooded. This is sadly becoming a regular occurrence, emergency boats are finding it harder to reach others in an emergency because of the amount of bridges. Something I must admit hadn’t thought about until our guide pointed it out.

Looking to travel on the Orient Express or thinking about making Venice your next trip away. Let me know your plans and I can happily help you with your requirements. Either contact me through this page or email me.

Hope you have had a good weekend? Shame its nearly over!!

jansdreamholidays@gmail.com

 

Hotel Review – Intercontinental Westminster London

Last weekend I was lucky enough to stay at the 5* Hotel Intercontinental Westminster in London.

We travelled up by coach and were dropped off to a warm welcome and taken straight to a pre arranged lunch. Our bags were stored until our rooms became available. Check in went smoothly.

The hotel is literally a few minutes walk away from Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The London Eye and Aquarium is also a short stroll over Westminster Bridge. We were offered advice as we left of the best tube routes to take and offered an umbrella to take on our travels. Luckily St James Park tube station is literally across the street.

We stayed in a Studio Suite on the fifth floor (six floors in total). Loved the luxurious bathroom with the walk in rain shower and separate bath tub and the Molton Brown amenities which are now tucked very nicely in my Travel Bag for my next trip away!! The towels were massive and light and fluffy as were the Dressing Gowns. There was Free WiFi Internet in the room and throughout the hotel. With the Studio Suites you receive complimentary access to the Club InterContinental Lounge and free breakfast daily. We had a great King Bed and the TV in the wall was a different touch.

In the Evening we had dinner aboard one of The Thames river cruises. To be honest due to the weather I wasn’t really looking forward to this but was pleasantly surprised. We boarded straight away and it was a great evening. It felt really calm considering the winds. We got to see some of London sights at night. It went really quick and the food was lovely. I had a lovely Butternut Squash risotto and a naughty Salted Pistachio Tart!!!

The Gym was empty on the Sunday Morning. Towels and water bottles were readily available. The equipment was fine for a workout away from home.

We had a late breakfast in the Restaurant which was very busy then a stroll over to the London Eye. Lunch was in in the sophisticated Blue Boar Smokehouse and Bar before heading home. The bar was quiet and the service was quick. We had a light lunch and can highly recommend the Fish Finger Sandwich!! Yummy.

I can highly recommend this hotel. My only fault with the room was there was no plug socket by the mirror to plug in my GHD’s. They luckily have a long enough lead to stretch from the minibar area.

If your looking to stay in London whether its at the Intercontinental Westminster or a hotel of your choice please get in touch and I can check rates and availability. Oyster Passes, Attraction Tickets and Theatre shows can also be included in your booking. Either contact me through the page or send me an email.

jansdreamholidays@gmail.com.

Have a great weekend everyone x

Welcome to Travelling the Dream

Welcome to Travelling the Dream.

I will be posting honest reviews of Hotels, Airlines and Attractions, that I will be using as both a couple and as a family.

I will posting which hotels and airlines I will be using before I go, if you have any particular questions let me know and I will find the answers for you.

I will also be adding lots of photo’s.

Thanks for your interest