Sheila Gallant-Halloran

Made-to-measure travel; please, go away! :-)

Lush Life Travel: Building Memories, One Travel Dream at a Time

Hi – I’ve loved my blog home here at www.sheila0gh.wordpress.com – but I’m moving!  Please check out my revamped blog at www.lushlife.ca !

Introducing my new personal brand:  Lush Life Travel!

Don’t worry – I still run my own business as an independent contractor with the Vision 2000 Travel Group. When I orchestrate your travel dreams, you get me as your personal travel advisor – but you also get the resources and power of Canada’s largest independently owned travel company behind me.

Vision 2000 Travel Group has been selling travel to Canadians for 50 years. Obviously, you benefit from dealing with an established travel company that is TICO-regulated, a Top Ten Virtuoso Agency, and a preferred partner with Four Seasons. Vision 2000 has industry recognition and clout; and extensive experience with every facet of travel from Cruises & Vacations, to Group & Escorted Tours, to Domestic Travel.  http://www.vision2000.ca/

Under the umbrella of Stephanie Anevich’s Cruises & Vacations department, I am a proud member of Lynda Sinclair’s travel @home team. 

And – I’m still a proud member of Virtuoso.

But, while those important partnerships remain, and my contact details are unchanged (sheila.gh@vision2000.ca and www.vision2000.ca/sheilagh and 613-837-0699 )… I’m also thrilled to begin a new chapter…. my new brand! Welcome to Lush Life Travel!

I’ve decided to move to a hosted website for my blog as my old site (www.sheila0gh.wordpress.com) was running into some obstacles (e.g., couldn’t add video, analytics were limited, etc…) . And, when it became obvious that a hosted website was key, I took the opportunity to revamp my personal brand with a new logo.

I came up with “Lush Life Travel.”  I drew the name initially from a favourite jazz song (perhaps you know it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUSCYOR3qMk and lyrics here http://www.asklyrics.com/display/ella-fitzgerald/lush-life-lyrics.htm ) – I wanted a “brand” that would invoke specialness, connection, magic, luxury, etc.  So, I sat down with my business networking partner, Carl Poirier, of Cayenne Creative, and we chatted about my ideas. Carl and his team brainstormed, and went to work – they then came back with this wonderfully inspired logo for me, and helped me migrate my old blog to this new platform and website.

What do you think of it? LushLifeTravel-inspiration

LLT_businesscard

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October 11, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Other Items, Lush Life Partners, Lush LIfe Top Posts, Lush Life Travel TIps & Advice | 2 Comments

Guest blogger, Rebecca Page – Entrepreneurs NEED to Unplug Too

I’m fortunate today to have my client, Rebecca Page, write a guest blog about her family’s recent vacation. Rebecca runs her own successful business at Concierge Home Services, a household management company. As a busy entrepreneur, Rebecca rarely took time off from the business to give herself time to unplug. But she just took a Mediterranean cruise with her family (onboard the MSC Armonia on a 7 night cruise that sailed out of Venice, and covering Italy,Greece, and Montenegro).  The cruise seems to have re-charged her batteries, and re-engergised her for the challenges ahead as a small business owner.

Enjoy her insights – and her photos!

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 The thing about being an entrepreneur is that the line between business and personal life is blurred. Or it doesn’t exist at all. I’ve worked on my laptop during family holidays more times than I care to remember. I’ve spent Sundays at the office. New Year’s. I’ve never minded, because it was my choice. And because working on my business is always fun.

Recently, I made a different choice. I took a trip to celebrate a milestone birthday, which had been planned for a very long time. I left the country, and switched off from my business. My VA in Ottawa monitored my email. Auto-responders were set up. Voicemail was changed. Internet access on my iPhone was disabled. No Twitter, no Facebook, no Google.

For the first couple of days, I thought I’d lost something, and was searching through my pockets. Then, I relaxed into the feeling of being disconnected from my business, and trusted that my company would continue without me. I resolved to enjoy every moment of my travels.

Which I did. I enjoyed a gondola ride under a full moon in Venice, fresh organic gelato in Urbino, the magic of the Acropolis of Athens, wine-tasting at a vineyard in Santorini, strong surf and perfect sand in Kefalonia, and a glowing sunset from the Eiffel Tower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was the first time in 9 years that I had taken a real break.

Now that I am back, I feel that I am more productive. My pace slowed down and I’m better able to see what work really needs to be done. I’m less caught up in the little things, and see the big picture. The distance I had from my business has given me better focus on our goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

People say they are so busy that they can’t take time off. Even when work is lots of fun, vacations are better.  And taking some time off may be the best thing you can do for your career or your business.

Rebecca Page is founder of Concierge Home Services, a household management company which helps busy homeowners and professionals relax and have more time. Based in Ottawa, it is expanding  throughout Ontario. She blogs about entrepreneurship and franchising at rebeccapage.ca. Follow her on Twitter at @RebeccaPageCHS.

October 3, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Cruising, Lush Life Guest Bloggers, Lush Life Travel TIps & Advice | Leave a comment

Proud to be Four Seasons Preferred Partner

Besides my affiliation with Vision 2000 Travel Group, and being a proud member of Virtuoso, I am also thrilled of V2K’s additional partnership with the Four Seasons chain.

In addition to membership in Virtuoso, Vision 2000 Travel Group is a preferred partner with Four Seasons. There are only 3 preferred partners in Canada, and only 101 around the globe. Not only is Vision 2000 in rare company, we are also the largest seller of Four Seasons in Canada – which gives us terrific negotiating power for our clients.

The Four Seasons Preferred Partner programme is an exclusive, invitation-only network of high-end travel consultants from around the world.

As a preferred partner programme member, V2K has proven our dedication to providing our clients with a premium level of service, and, so, we share in the Four Seasons commitment to exceptional quality.

There are terrific benefits to V2K and me from this partnership – Four Seasons shows the value it places on the business I bring by doing everything they can to make my job easier – from streamlining the booking process, to ensuring that my clients are always treated with the utmost care and attention.

But, in addition to the Preferred Partner website, there are tremendous benefits and services that I can offer my clients. This includes a preferred partner amenity programme (where I can negotiate tremendous amenities on my clients behalf), to simplified booking process, to consistent communication, to support.

Of course, my clients benefit greatly from the Preferred Partner Amenity Programme. Thanks to my status as a Four Seasons Preferred Partner, my clients can enjoy special value-added benefits at all Four Seasons hotels and resorts worldwide. These benefits have been standardised across all properties to make the elements easy to remember — and also make it easier for me to promote the benefits to my clients.

Available on most rates and promotions, I can negotiate the following amenities on my clients’ behalf:

  • Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant (including buffets).
  • Extra value-added amenity, such as: Spa credit of USD100 once during stay (not applicable to products); golf credit of USD100 once during stay (not applicable to pro shop purchases); or lunch for two once during stay (up to USD85, excluding gratuity and alcohol). (Each hotel’s specific extra amenity is specified by the individual property.)
  • Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (excluding signature suites and villas).
  • Welcome note at check-in .
  • Complimentary high-speed Internet access for all suite bookings.

And, the power of one-to-one gives me access to the top-level managers at each Four Seasons. This means that not only can I get my clients preferred partner amenities, but that I can also get them enhanced recognition and personal welcome from on-property management, access to the best guest room inventory, and have priority access to wait-list clearance.

Why aren’t you staying at a Four Seasons for your next holiday? Give me a call, and let me take advantage of the Four Seasons Preferred Partner status to “VIP” you!

September 23, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Destinations, Lush Life Hotels, Lush Life Other Items, Lush Life Partners, Lush LIfe Top Posts, Lush Life Travel TIps & Advice | Leave a comment

The Balancing Act – Picking a Disney Hotel

I always recommend staying onsite at a Disney hotel. There are so many terrific perks you get staying at an official Disney onsite hotel:

a. you get a free shuttle to and from the airport to your hotel (and have your bags delivered)

b. you’re surrounded by Disney magic 24 hrs

c. you can use Disney transportation around resorts, parks

d. you can make purchases throughout the “world”, charge to your room key, and have delivered back to your hotel

e. you can add the Disney dining plan, and

f. the primo benefit – you get access to the EXTRA MAGIC HOURS – which means you can get into a park an hour early, and stay at another up to 3 hours longer than non-onsite guests

Choosing a hotel requires you to consult with your travel advisor.  Price is a factor, but it is not the only factor.  You have to consider what kind of vacation your family wants to have, the style of hotel you normally like to vacation at, and how much time you want to spend commuting each day.  In my conversations with new clients, we focus on 8 factors/ parameters in choosing between the 22 onsite hotels:

1. the level of service you like from your hotel (are you a Best Western or a Four Seasons kinda gal?)

2. the price point you’d prefer (cheap as long as clean, vs. willing to pay for luxury?)

3. the room size you’d like (and bedding size – more budget-oriented hotels are smaller w double beds)

4. the amenities you’d like at your hotel (e.g., do you want a waterslide, kids’ club, etc.)

5. the dining options you’d like at your hotel (e.g. do you want just takeaway kiosk or character meals or fine dining choices)

6. the location you prefer (e.g. do you want the closest to the parks and higher price, or happy with lower price but also accepting they are the furthest away and have longer commute times), and

7. the convenience you prefer (e.g. what ease and speed of access to the parks do you want, and how about ease of getting to your hotel room once you get back to your resort – e.g., a standard room at a value resort could have a 15 minute walk back to your hotel room vs. a preferred room being 5 minutes walk)

8. the recreational activities you prefer at your resort (e.g., do you want the ability to rent water craft, do you want access to pool activities, etc.)

If you’re thinking about a trip to Disney, give me a call and let’s chat about what’s most important to your family.  Balancing all the factors/ parameters is all about matching your family to the perfect resort for you!

Sheila 613-837-0699

July 27, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Disney, Lush Life Hotels, Lush LIfe Top Posts, Lush Life Travel TIps & Advice | 2 Comments

On Vacay? Here are some Tips to Avoid/ Minimize Issues

A recent exchange with Kathy Buckworth got me thinking about things I tell my new clients about the benefits of booking with a travel advisor. But once the booking is done, there are still things on which I advise clients to ensure they are ready for vacation.

So, if you’re heading out on vacation, here are some tips to help you avoid/ minimize issues:

  1. Have your travel advisor’s card with you – a good travel advisor is there for you before, during, and after travel – if you run into issues at destination, your travel advisor can help you get them sorted as they are happening. (Please don’t wait until you get home. It’s too late to solve the problem that’s affecting your holiday, and trying to get some resolution/ restitution after the fact is difficult and not very satisfying for you.)
  2. Have your details on travel insurance with you – know who to call, and make sure you know what your financial responsibility is with your insurer. (Do you have to pay upfront and then get reimbursed later? If so, make sure you have ample room on your credit card. You should have already sorted issues with your travel insurance provider when your travel advisor got you to review your coverage- so you should already know whether your insurer covers you if you’re in international waters for your cruise, if your work coverage extends to your children and spouse, whether you have medical only or trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage as well.)
  3. You’ve already made sure your passport has more than 6 months remaining before it expires (your travel advisor would have made sure of that) – but also make sure your travel advisor (and family at home) has a photocopy of your passport details – just in case something gets lost or stolen.
  4. Your travel advisor would have provided itineraries with hotel/ ship/ tour details. Ensure your family at home has a copy of details.
  5. Never lug what you can’t safely carry. Know your carriers’ baggage restrictions, and charges before you go to the airport. Assume you won’t find a baggage cart somewhere, and never travel with more luggage than you can carry yourself. Put your business address on your bags (not your home address – it’s a little known fact that thieves will often hang out in airport departure areas watching for people leaving so they can get their home address from their bags before they check in.)
  6. Know your cell phone provider’s roaming policy before you leave and/or arrange an international phone (like wireless traveller)
  7. Protect your home – make sure you cancel newspapers, turn off the water, put lights on a timer, and alert your neighbours that you’ll be away. Having someone come in your home while you’re away not only protects against things like water breaks, it likely satisfies the requirements of your home owner’s policy too.  If you’re a social media junkie, be leery of saying you’re on vacation, where you are, and how long you’ll be away (unless you can also say you have a house sitter).
  8. travel smart – don’t announce your hotel room number in front of strangers (especially as you’re picking up your key at the front desk.) Use the safety deposit box at your hotel to safeguard valuables, especially your passport. Don’t leave laptops, purses, etc. out when you leave your hotel room. Another important point for travel safety is that it might also be an idea to double check your hotel’s policy concerning the storage of your credit card info on any plastic hotel keys – if in doubt, throw them out.

Any issues?  You have my number. 613-837-0699.

July 26, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Travel TIps & Advice, Lush Life Value - Why Use a Travel Advisor | Leave a comment

Concierge at Disney’s Grand Floridian – Pampering to Die For!

I often will recommend to my clients that they stay at a Disney monorail hotel.  The benefits of the location, and the convenience of access to Magic Kingdom,  just can’t be beat. Last month, we visited WDW for the 19th time, and we again stayed at a WDW monorail hotel. We stayed at the Grand Floridian, Disney’s flagship hotel. And we splurged, and upgraded to the concierge category. Was the pampering good?  To die for!

First of all, continental breakfast each morning makes it easy to get up, grab some food, and hit the park.  Anyone who’s travelled to Disney with kids knows that something fast to satiate the morning appetite works well – kids don’t want to waste a lot of time eating before they hit the rides. So, having a continental breakfast just outside your room door works great!

Second of all, besides staying at a 5* hotel, with the attendant wonderful service, terrific amenities, fine dining and character options, recreational options, as well as great rooms; you get pampered by staff.  There’s a concierge staff (who are set up right across from the food and drink) to help with your dining, other reservations, and/or other needs. So – you can grab a soft drink or snack while they assist you. The snacks are there throughout the day, for rest time – when you come back from a swim and need to get refreshed.

Third of all, there are hot h’or d’oeuvres from 5-7 that will give you a little boost after a long day park hopping… (all with your choice of alcoholic or other beverage).

And then there is the dessert buffet from 8:30 to 10:00 pm, so you can grab a chocolatey snack, with a Grand Marnier, and then head out to see the fireworks.

Is the pampering good at the Grand Floridian?  To die for!

July 17, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Destinations, Lush Life Disney, Lush Life Hotels, Lush LIfe Top Posts, Lush Life Travel TIps & Advice | Leave a comment

Chef Mickey is Cooking Up a Late Summer Feast for your Family

Greetings,

Are you tempted to visit Mickey Mouse this summer? The head mouse and I have put our thinking caps on, and have come up with a special offer for you! The “Memories Vacation Package Plus Free Dine”.

Here are the  OFFER DETAILS

Booking Window: NOW-Sept.24.11

Travel Window: Aug.28-Sept.24, 2011

This Includes :

– Accommodations – Magic Your Way Base Ticket for each member of the traveling party

– One 20-page Disney’s PhotoPass® Photo Book

– Disney Dining Plan FREE

This terrific promotion gives you free regular “plus” dining plan at moderate, deluxe, or deluxe villa resorts. (Or free “quick service” dining plan at the value resorts – which you can choose to keep, or upgrade to the regular “plus” dining plan.)

If you’re looking for a late summer getaway, the magic of the WDW parks is certainly a terrific option. Not only can you enjoy Florida sunshine, and lessening crowds at the parks, but a family of 4 (two adults, one child, one junior) can save $1100 USD with this amazing deal.

But don’t wait! Advance dining reservations (which are required to dine with the characters, or for table service meals) can be booked up to 180 days in advance, so many of the popular locations are filling up.

Give me a call! Let’s get your magical vacation sorted – and I’ll help you make the advance dining reservations too!

Sincerely,

Sheila Gallant-Halloran

613-837-0699

sheila.gh@vision2000.ca

July 11, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Disney, Lush Life Kids, Lush Life Travel TIps & Advice | Leave a comment

Some Pros & Cons – Staying at a Moderate – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

For visit #19 to WDW last week, my family spent 3 nights at the Caribbean Beach moderate resort, and 3 nights at the Grand Floridian deluxe resort. I’d stayed at the Grand Floridian 4 times previously, so I knew I loved it, and knew what to expect. However, this was my first time staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort (CBR), and I was looking forward to getting a “fuller” appreciation than my previous onsite visits and training could capture.

First up, the pros :

a.) The CBR is a beautifully laid out resort, and it takes its design and theming inspiration from an actual place (like all moderate hotels) – you feel like you’re in the Caribbean. The resort is composed of 6 villages/islands of Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, Jamaica, Trinidad North, and Trinidad South; and each has its own Caribbean vibe. I’d done a blog previously that is relevant here. https://sheila0gh.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/first-impressions-disneys-caribbean-beach-resort/

b.) The Disney bus transportation can whisk you from the CBR, which is in the Epcot resort area, to the various Disney parks and Downtown Disney.  Like all Disney hotels, you have free transportation onsite, plus have Disney service, are surrounded by the magic 24 hours a day, can purchase the dining plan, can use the free shuttle to and from the airport, and have access to the Extra Magic Hours.

c.) The CBR offers onsite recreation including a pool with a waterslide. There are quiet pools in each village/island, in addition to a large pool by Old Port Royale. The quiet pools give you lots of opportunity to get away from the bustling crowds, if you’d rather a more sedate swim time. But if you want to be around a lot of folks, the waterslide area of the main pool will certainly fill your needs!  See earlier blog post here: https://sheila0gh.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/chillaxin-at-disneys-caribbean-beach-resort/

d.) The CBR is one of Disney’s moderate hotels, and it offers a good balance between amenities and price. It offers great value for folks looking for stays longer than a couple of days. It can also serve as an appealing move up from a value hotel for repeat Disney guests (especially if they think they might spend more time around the pool). There are lots of accommodation options for multi-generational families to gather (so each can have their own space, but still be close enough to visit back and forth as well).  Staying at the CBR, you will be aware that you are vacationing with many other young families, and there will be raucous laughter and fun aplenty happening on the hotel grounds.

e.) There are plenty of quick service dining options in Old Port Royale and the Marketplace (pizza, sandwiches, burgers, salads, beverages, etc), as well as shopping opportunities. And there is also a sit down, or table service restaurant onsite, called Shutters.

f.) The CBR has perhaps the largest rooms in the moderate category hotel.

Now, for the cons:

a.) The CBR is beautifully laid out, but it is really spread out. The CBR is so large that it has its own internal bus system. If you’re not staying in a preferred room, you will spend a long time walking to get to Old Port Royale to the dining and main pool areas. 

b.) Part of choosing a resort is balancing what works for your family in terms of amenities and price. Staying at a moderate (instead of a deluxe hotel) means you save on price, but sacrifice location and convenience of access. At CBR, my family stayed in a preferred room in Trinidad North, so we were at the prime location at this resort for being close to transportation and dining options. However, we hadn’t appreciated how different the convenience factor would be from a monorail hotel.

Let me give you an example in terms of travel time to Magic Kingdom (MK) by bus. The first night at CBR, we lined up to catch the bus in Trinidad North at 7:00 pm, boarded the bus at 7:10pm, and at 7:25 pm, our bus was exiting the CBR grounds. (Did I say the resort is spread out?) We finally arrived at the bus station at MK park gates at 7:45 pm. So, it took us 20 minutes to get to Magic Kingdom, once we had left the CBR grounds, but it had taken 35 minutes from the time we’d boarded the bus, and 45 minutes from the time we stood in line in terms of wait and transport time.

Managing expectations may be key, of course, because if you know about this upfront, you can plan around it; and if the balance of convenience and price makes this the right resort for you, then you can definitely make it work. However, the wait and transport time is significantly more than the 5-10 minute period I know from staying at a deluxe monorail hotel.

A bus trip home to CBR from MK later that night had us boarding at 12:18 am, and back at the resort at 12:40… so 20 minutes seems to be pretty standard ride time (with a 10 minute or so wait at the front end). Being a preferred building, our Trinidad North was one of the first stops coming home, which was nice. 

However, the ride home from MK had also involved a much longer walk to get to the CBR bus station than I’d anticipated. Having previously stayed many times at the Contemporary, I knew well the walk home from MK. So, I was surprised that we had to walk almost back to the Contemporary from MK to catch our CBR bus, as this shaky photo from our CBR stop line shows. 

Bus transportation from CBR to Epcot and Hollywood Studios was about 10 minutes faster, as the CBR is located closer to those parks than it is to MK, but we found MK transport usually took longer than a half hour. 

The location and bus transport time also meant we didn’t zip back and forth between our hotel and a park, as we would often do at a monorail hotel – once we left the CBR, we were usually gone for longer periods of time. (It isn’t as easy to head back to your hotel for a swim, and then go out again.)

c.) As with any vacation choice, you make a decision about resort based on the level of service, price, amenities, location, etc…. and the CBR does offer a good balance of price and amenities. However, if you are a power internet user while on vacation (as I am), it’s possible that the CBR may not be the resort for you. My time there had been plagued by connectivity and intermittent access issues (even after replacing the cable, and dealing with their onsite help desk). At one point, the onsite help desk advised me to step down my internet connection speed to 10 megabits/second half duplex, which, for a travel agent needing fast access, was awfully slow. I was also hampered by the fact that the internet plug in was behind the bed, and the cord wasn’t long enough to reach the desk (and no extensions were available), which meant that the work I did do on vacation had me plunked on the bed (which wasn’t ideal for me or my family).  

I had been assured by onsite staff that my connection issues were most unusual, and perhaps I just had a bad port/ area of the hotel. They apologetically refunded the $9.95/day connection fee I’d been charged to access the internet. However, it’s worth  noting that I had none of these connection issues when we later moved over to the Grand Floridian (and there, we had extremely fast, and free, wireless access during my stay in the concierge area). If you don’t need internet access on holiday, this isn’t an issue, of course, but if you need to work, even a little, this access can put a damper on your stay.

d.) While the main pool area of the CBR is terrific, my heart lies with the canyon-themed waterslide and beach of the Grand Floridian (GF).  My own personal preference is for the finer dining options of the GF, the queen beds (rather than the doubles at a moderate), more sedate surroundings, the gorgeous pastel shading and Victorian surroundings of the GF, more room service options, having access to the character meals and even childcare (if needed), a different level of service, and more spacious rooms (deluxe rooms are much larger). But these are the differences between a moderate and deluxe hotel category, rather than cons of the CBR per se. 

The differences between hotel categories should be discussed and considered before choosing your Disney resort. It’s obviously important that we match your family’s needs and expectations to the proper resort. Disney has over 22 onsite hotels, so we should talk to discover what’s most important to you. I’m here to ensure your family can create the memories that will matter most to you!

Give me a call!  Sheila 613-837-0699 or email me sheila.gh@vision2000.ca

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Disney, Lush Life Hotels, Lush LIfe Top Posts, Lush Life Travel TIps & Advice | 4 Comments

Chillaxin’ at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

We spent some time chillaxin’ at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort during our visit last week.  We swam in the big pool, with the waterslide.

And hung out with some family.

And chowed down on some good eats. (Caribbean burger with plantains, carmelized onions, and hot peppers. Yum! While kids had burgers and fries served in sand bucket (lined!) – terrific way to chillax at Disney!

July 7, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Disney, Lush Life Hotels, Lush Life Travel TIps & Advice | 3 Comments

Flyin’ with only Carry On Luggage

We returned at 2 am this morning from Disney, our first ever trip where we didn’t check luggage…. carried all onboard.

Ordinarily, I plan my Disney vacations completely at least 180 days out (to get all character and other dining we want). This time, the trip was only arranged the day before we left… so we were really flyin’ by the seat of our pants. Not my normal modus operandi, but it worked well.

First up, had to ensure we had the Magical Express reservations with Disney – a quick phone call took care of that. Gotta love Mickey’s free shuttle from the airport to our hotel (and back again). But there certainly wouldn’t be time for us to get Magical Express luggage tags to ensure our baggage was delivered to the hotel. Course, we knew we could pick up the bags ourselves; and/or give the Magical Express desk our airline luggage tags, and they could still pick up the bags, and deliver (Disney’s always prepared for last minute guests). But I thought, no – why not try travelling without checked bags for once?

I double-checked the airlines’ carry on policies. Both US Air (who we flew down with), and United (who we flew home with) allowed one piece of carry on, with one personal item. So, each of the four of us had a rolling carry on, and a small bag (for me, my laptop and files; for hubby, our camera bag; for the girls, toys/ DS/ etc.)

We had to be selective about what we brought, but it worked really well. I always find you take too much clothing anyway, so this time, we had to be very careful about what we  brought. One pair of long pants, one long sleeved shirt, one sweater, hats and rain ponchos, bathing suits and cover ups, slip on shoes and sneakers, personal items, sleepware, and shorts/tshirts/resort wear for the 6 nights/ 7 days. It was tight (especially after a few Mickey souvenirs we’re added in for the return trip) but we did it!

What was great for me, as a parent, was that each child was responsible for lugging their own suitcase – which meant that they didn’t bring a whack of toys to travel with (loading me down). What wasn’t great for me, as a parent, was that DD5 was exhausted on the return trip, and the excitement of dragging her own bag had long ago worn thin…. which meant I was dragging two on the return trip (which was already longer than anticipated, due to a delay in Chicago because of  heavy thunderstorms in US)!

The only real downside of not planning in advance was that we didn’t think about getting carryon sizes for shaving cream (hubby’s was convisgated at the Ottawa airport) or sun screen (which we purchased at Disney – so you can imagine how expensive that was). But otherwise, the carry on experiment worked pretty well… although, I’m not sure I’d do it if we were going for longer than 6 nights.

Have you ever flown with only carry on luggage? How did it work for you?

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Lush Life Travel TIps & Advice | 4 Comments