We're in the middle of what feels like a never-ending winter and dreaming of a warm getaway for spring break. Nothing beats a week of sun, fun and well-deserved relaxation! There are so many beautiful places to visit, so it can be hard to narrow it down to one destination. Here is some inspiration for your spring break trip this year!
SPRING BREAK TRAVEL TIPS
Are you wanting to plan a spring break getaway? Contact Brentwood Travel to start planning your perfect vacation.
Call 314.439.5700 or email us!
There is nothing worse than planning an amazing trip, only to get sick during it or immediately after returning home. Traveling to new places can mean new germs, close quarters in places like airplanes and a different routine than what your body is used to. Here are a few things you can do to combat sickness while traveling, especially during cold and flu season!
1. Get plenty of sleep before and during your trip
There is nothing better for your body than getting a good night of sleep! Being well-rested before you travel is important so that you are prepared for your adventures ahead. Once you get to your destination, sleep is still SO necessary! You want to get the most out of the amazing destinations you visit. Getting 8 hours of sleep at night will help you do that by giving you a clear mind and rested body to fully enjoy the places travel to. Did you know that our white blood cells increase in number while we sleep? So when you are sleep deprived, your body's defense mechanism weakens, making you more vulnerable to sickness. Make sure you are getting proper sleep!
2. Stay hydrated
HYDRATION! HYDRATION! HYDRATION! Remembering to drink enough water is very important, especially while traveling. Long flights and days packed with adventure can leave you more dehydrated than normal. Remember to drink at least the equivalent of eight 8oz. glasses of water a day! Opt for water instead of sugary drinks during your trip to stay properly hydrated. You can invest in a reusable water bottle with a built-in filter, so wherever you go, you will have clean, filtered water ready to drink.
3. Slow down
When traveling it always feels like there is so much to do, but so little time. People tend to pack as much as they can into every waking moment of their trip. Have you ever come back from traveling and thought, "I need a vacation from my vacation"? Avoid the burnout feeling by making a manageable itinerary where you can see everything you want to see while still having room to relax and enjoy. Planning your trip with a Travel Consultant can help you with that! They have the knowledge and resources to help plan your perfect trip.
4. Eat a balanced diet
One of the best things about traveling is trying new food! Many people use vacation as a time to indulge and eat much more food or less healthy food than their body is used to. This can cause stomach issues that you do not want to deal with while on vacation. To combat this, try sticking to a balanced diet while traveling. Be adventurous, but also cautious, when trying new foods in a new area. The CDC also suggests avoiding raw food, street food and bushmeat when traveling.
5. Wash your hands
This one should be a given, but is also important remember! Be diligent with hand washing while traveling. Remember to bring hand sanitizer when you aren't near a sink and sanitizing wipes to disinfect the surfaces around you, especially when flying.
6. Give yourself time to recover after trip
When most people come back from a trip they jump right back into work and their regular daily routine. Allow yourself an extra day or two after you get back to readjust and unwind. This can also be a great time to get some extra sleep and fully unpack before jumping back into things.
Travel Consultant Christine Hakenjos recently traveled to New Orleans with 9 of her closest girlfriends to celebrate her bachelorette weekend! Bachelorette trips (or long weekend getaways to celebrate the bride’s “last fling before the ring”) are becoming more and more popular with millennials. Christine and her Maid of Honor, Lindsay, planned the most perfect weekend getaway, and we thought it would be fun to share their travels along with giving tips for planning the perfect bachelorette weekend that you can do WHEREVER you may travel!
Create A Fun Itinerary Graphic
When planning a bachelorette weekend getaway, it is always a good idea to create SOME sort of itinerary for your guests so that everyone has something to refer to when packing/preparing for their travels. Creating a cute graphic always makes things more fun and adds even more excitement to the upcoming trip!
Plan a Themed Photoshoot
We traveled to New Orleans for my bachelorette on Halloween weekend, which also meant it was VooDoo Festival that weekend. For our photoshoot theme, we decided to match the rest of the city this time of year and go with a “witches coven” theme. We started our day with the shoot and it was a fun way to begin our day in NOLA! The photos all turned out AMAZING, and I love that I have such great photos to look back on as a reminder of such an amazing weekend. We then went out on the town from there and received SO many compliments about our theme and how coordinated we all looked. It was so fun!
Plan Ahead and Make Reservations!
When planning an out of town bachelorette trip (especially with a big group), do your research to find out the best places to eat and drink and make reservations at the restaurants ahead of time! You don’t want to have to wait an hour (or sometimes longer!) for a table big enough for your group because that is only taking time away from your weekend, or even WORSE you may not even get a table to begin with! So planning ahead for the places you KNOW you want to eat and drink at is always a good idea…. ESPECIALLY in New Orleans where eating and drinking is one of the reasons for traveling to such an amazing city!
Dress Up Like Iconic Celebrities
Having outfits planned makes packing easy, right?! So one of the days in New Orleans, we all picked an iconic celebrity to dress up as. It was so fun to be out and about in NOLA dressed as people that MOST of the general public knew who we were.
Be a Real “Tourist” & Book a Tour!
Sometimes drinking all day every day on a Bachelorette trip can be quite exhausting, and expensive! Acting as real tourists and booking an exciting tour can be a really good change of pace for your group and will also allow them to learn and see more of the city you are traveling to! Before departing for our weekend in New Orleans, we booked a “Louisiana Airboat Ride & Oak Valley Plantation Home” tour and it was truly one of the best things we did all weekend! It was so fun to do something so unique and different as a group. Getting to experience such beauty and learning about these destinations together was so special!
Have Matching T-Shirts Made
In addition to the “being a tourist and booking a tour”, you can also have fun matching t-shirts made ahead of time for your group to wear on the tour or any day throughout your weekend! For New Orleans, I had t-shirts made for the girls from a shop on Etsy that matched the entire theme of the weekend: “Till Death Do Us Party”, and gave it to them as a thank you for their travels. We wore them with jeans the day of the tour and the photos of us as a group were great!
Have a Psychic Join the Fun
There is nothing like having a psychic read your tarot cards, especially with your BFFs! This was yet another fun activity we did while in New Orleans. Originally, we had planned for a psychic to come to our house to do our readings, but a tropical storm hit that evening so we ended up going to the French Quarter for ours. We landed at “Voodoo Authentica” after a few insider tips from my family, who are locals to the area. Voodoo Authentica happens to be a true Voodoo shop located in the French Quarter and that is where we had a group reading done by a true Voodoo Priest! The group reading was very insightful and was just another unique activity to do together that you don’t get to do every day.
Go See/Listen to Live Music
Going to listen to live music anywhere is always fun, especially when you are in a city where live music is at the center of the culture. To end our amazing weekend in New Orleans, we thought it would be fun to hop around on Frenchmen Street and listen to live jazz at a local bar. We ended up grabbing drinks and small apps at Bamboula’s where they have live music all day and all night. Frenchmen Street is just a short walk from the French Quarter and totally worth the visit!
Create “Goodie Bags” for Your Guests
Something fun to do as a thank you to everyone that traveled is to make them little goodie bags. In the bags that I gave my friends, I included the matching t-shirts that I gave everyone, but I also gave them each a little reusable skull mug, and a homemade “hangover kit” with makeup wipes, Advil, and gum. To top it off, I hand wrote each of them a thank you card, as I was so appreciative of everyone taking time off work and spending their hard earned $$ to travel and celebrate with me!
Top U.S. Bachelorette Party Destinations
The most important part about your bachelorette weekend is having fun with your friends. Tailor your weekend to what YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS enjoy doing, and it will make some of your best memories together. To take the stress off of yourself, work with a travel consultant to plan the PERFECT weekend getaway!
Ready to plan your dream bachelorette weekend? Contact Christine Hakenjos today!
Call 314-439-5700 ext. 134 or email her.
The items you pack in your carry-on can make or break your flight. Our well-traveled staff knows a thing or two about flying, along with the essentials you need to pack for every trip. Some of our travel consultants are here to share their recommendations.
Keep reading to find out their top picks!
Maggie Groene and Melanie Muchnick always make sure they bring their headphones on every flight! These are necessary for entertainment or drowning out the background noise on the plane. If you're trying to get some sleep while flying, try earplugs to cancel out noise!
Nowadays, your smartphone is an important part of traveling. From mobile boarding passes to getting an Uber after your flight, having a dead phone is not an option. Bring a portable charger so you won't have to worry about what percentage your phone battery is at.
Reusable Water Bottle and Snacks
Food and drinks at the airport can be expensive. Think ahead and pack a reusable water bottle and snacks! Doing this can save you the unnecessary expense. Emily Medina likes to make sure she has her reusable water bottle to use at the airport, as well as while she's on her trip. Michelle Busse and Melanie like to bring on-the-go snacks that are easy to pack, such as almonds, Chex Mix or fruit.
The best way to dress on travel days is in layers. You never know what the temperature will be like in the airport or on the plane. The weather may be completely different from where you board to where you land. Be sure to pack a jacket or sweater to stay warm! Emily suggests packing or wearing a scarf that can double as a cozy blanket for when it gets chilly on the plane. What a great tip!
Airports and planes are full of germs! Be sure to bring hand sanitizer every time you travel. This one is a no brainer!
You don't want to just sit and stare off into space for your entire flight. Bring books and magazines to pass the time while flying. Or download games, music, movies or TV shows on your smartphone or tablet to keep you entertained.
Need to get some sleep on your flight? Remember to bring a travel pillow so you can sleep comfortably and feel refreshed when you get to your destination.
We always hope for the best, but sometimes checked luggage gets lost, so Michelle and Emily both recommend bringing extra clothes in your carry on. You'll feel much better knowing that you can survive an extra day or two without your checked luggage.
My husband and I have always been huge Disney fans which means we absolutely love to vacation at Walt Disney World. My entire pregnancy people told me "you know you have to wait years before you go back to Disney World?" because people knew I would be dying to go back there and to most people it sounds like a miserable idea to take a baby to Disney. Well, when I announced I was planning to take my baby to Walt Disney World I got tons of push back! Of course I was a little nervous, but guess what - taking my 10-month-old to Disney was the best decision I ever made and I can't wait to go back with him! I will say it definitely was a different type of Disney vacation than what I've been used to, but it was completely worth it and here are some of my tips for taking your baby to Disney:
1. Be on your baby's schedule
On previous Disney vacations my husband and I would be the first ones in the park and the last to leave each day. We had to ride every ride, see every show and close out the night with fireworks. Unfortunately, this plan doesn't work too well with a baby. Nap time, feedings and bedtime all have to be taken into consideration. But this doesn't mean you can't still have fun! Be sure to have a stroller that you can recline back so baby can nap during the day and you can walk around the Park or get a yummy snack. Also, slowing down your pace will actually allow you to enjoy more of the Parks than constantly being on the go, which we definitely learned on this trip. Don't expect your baby will be awake for every photo opportunity. You have to learn to just go with the flow.
2. Ship baby necessities to your resort
If you plan to fly to Walt Disney World it's not practical to pack diapers, formula and food in your suitcase. You'll lose valuable space and you'll probably get stuck paying for heavy luggage fees at the airport. Instead, go on Amazon before your trip and select the items that your baby needs the most and have them shipped to the resort you're staying at. This was a lifesaver for us! I chose everything I needed and changed the shipping address to the resort. Be sure to include "Guest" with your name and check-in date on the shipping label so they can easily find the package when you check in.
3. Pack a change of clothes each day
Accidents and babies go hand in hand. You just never know when something will happen to a baby's clothes. Be sure that before you head out to the Parks each day that you have a spare change of clothes in your diaper bag. To quickly locate everything I recommend putting the change of clothes in a Ziplock bag, and this will also help keep the soiled clothes separate from everything else in your bag. Trust me, accidents WILL happen.
4. Mark your stroller
Any time you want to hop on a ride you have to leave your stroller in the sea of stroller parking. It can be difficult to quickly identify which stroller is yours, so to help out be sure to have a sign that you can attach to the back of your stroller. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, you could use a brightly colored ribbon. However I like to be a little extra and full of Disney flair, so I had a custom sign made that I found here on Etsy. Remember, don't leave valuables in your stroller!
5. Get a stroller fan
I can't emphasize this enough, you have to get a fan to clip on your stroller! There is almost nothing hotter than the Florida sun and you have to have something to keep your baby cool. I purchased this rechargeable fan on Amazon and it worked wonders. We clipped it to the top of the stroller so our son couldn't mess with it but it was securely aimed on him at all times.
6. Utilize Fastpasses for baby-friendly rides
Fastpasses are free with your park admission and they're a great way to make your ride-planning much easier. You get three Fastpasses that you can book in advance, and once you've used all your Fastpasses at one park you can request additional passes. To avoid waiting in lines and causing our son to get restless, we only went on rides if we had a Fastpass (or if there wasn't a long wait time). They made our day so laid back and our son thoroughly enjoyed every ride he went on! Our son got to experience The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Frozen Ever After, "it's a small world", Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan's Flight, The Voyage of The Little Mermaid, Prince Charming Regal Carousel, Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and Kilimanjaro Safari. I loved how his face would light up with curiosity, he would let out happy squeals and clap his hands to songs!
7. Book Character Dining experiences
My son is obsessed with watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and I knew I wanted him to have the chance to meet all of the characters. The best place to do this is at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort. I booked this during breakfast when I knew it wouldn't interfere with nap time and he would be in good spirits. It was the best way for us to have one-on-one time with each character without having to wait in long lines to meet them. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy all came to meet our son and he just couldn't get enough of them! It even brought a few tears to this Disney momma's eye.
8. Document as much as you can
Since Disney is so dear to my heart I wanted to document as many moments as I could with my son. Before the trip I made "first" signs for different experiences I knew my son would have throughout Walt Disney World. It made us pause during the day to appreciate little moments and take in different experiences in a new way. Not to mention I have so many more pictures for our photo album because I captured the moment!
Bottom line, just go with the flow and you'll have a fantastic time! To book your Walt Disney World vacation, contact Brentwood Travel at 314-439-5700 or send us an email!
wan·der·lust (/ˈwändərˌləst/) noun
A strong desire to travel.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? From beautiful islands to rolling green hills, we want to see it all! We asked our staff and these are Brentwood Travel's current top destinations giving us wanderlust.
What destinations are giving you wanderlust?
Give us a call at (314) 439-5700 or email us to make your dream getaway come to life
"The cruise itself was amazing and we want to thank our Travel Consultant Stacey Hoehne for the wonderful dinner on our first night and the strawberries and champagne!
A highlight during our voyage was our balcony stateroom especially as it gave us the option to open the partition between our room and my parents which was fun! We also got up in the middle of the night while going through the inside passage and watched as we threaded that ship through a needle while sitting on our balcony in our robes. And it was a full moon that night!
One morning we were sitting out on our balcony and a humpback literally waved one of its fins at us. This was the first cruise that I’ve taken were you can see land all around most of the time. It was incredible when a momma brown bear and her 3 cubs were spotted on the shore and the captain would get us as close as he possibly could! And we spent many nights watching the sunset in the Crow’s Nest. The onboard naturalists were incredible and we all learned a lot about Alaska. The ship board credit also came in handy and we appreciated it. Food was good and service was great!
It really was a trip of a lifetime with my family and we all have awesome pictures of the trip and great memories. I believe that every single human being on this planet should see the many wonders that I saw in Alaska!”
Contact Stacey at 314-439-5700 ext. 128 or send her an email
to begin planning an amazing Alaska Adventure!
One of the biggest things to look forward to the most when traveling to Italy is easily the food and drinks! But, there are a number of rules to keep in mind when dining and drinking in Italy. Chris Atwood with See Italy has come up with "11 Rules For Eating In Italy", but our agents have thrown in an extra couple rules ourselves 😉 *Look for See Italy’s original article that is linked at the bottom of this post*
#1. Pasta portions are individual sized.
Here in the United States, we have Americanized Italian plates to a crazy amount. Most Italian restaurants that we know, offer enormous portion sizes of their pastas that are easily big enough to share. This is NOT the case in Italy. The pasta in Italy, considered there as “Primo” is individually sized and this is not because the cook is being stingy. Italians like to stagger their meals. They eat their appetizers first, then their pasta and THEN their main entrée. By keeping their pasta dish to a smaller size, Italians hold on to their appetites long enough to full enjoy all courses without feeling too stuffed. Leaving room for plenty Tiramisu for dessert!
#2. The pizza toppings are totally different in Italy.
When ordering a Pepperoni Pizza in Italy, you will get a pizza pie covered in peppers. Why? Because pepperoni in Italy means ‘bell peppers’. Pizza originated in Italy, but again, we have Americanized the Italian Pizza to a crazy amount. For example, BBQ chicken pizza, Hawaiian pizza & yes, even the pepperoni pizza originated here in the United States. NOT Italy. The traditional pizzas found in Italy will be the Margherita (mozzarella, tomato & basil), the Marinara (which is just crust & tomato sauce), the Quattro Formaggi (white pizza with four types of cheese), and the Capricciosa (artichokes, ham, mushrooms, and black olives). So keep this in mind when going to order your favorite pizza pie in Italy!
#3. You do not need to order the whole menu.
As noted above, Italians stagger the way they eat. Enjoying the antipasta before moving on to first course (pasta/risotto/soup). The second course is either a meat or fish dish. This is why you will NEVER see a meat or fish entrée served on the same plate as your pasta. Italians consider these as two separate dishes that should be enjoyed separately, with the pasta being served before the main dish. Insider tip: Split your antipasta and then order either a pasta or an entrée. If you are STILL hungry, you can always go back for more 😉
#4. ONLY drink wine or water at a restaurant.
We come from a land with AT LEAST five drinks choices being offered on almost any menu here in the States. At many sit-down restaurants, Italians will only sip on two drinks; wine and water. The wine in Italy will be served in chilled glass bottles and will usually cost about 2 euros per bottle. The waiter will usually ask you if you want “acqua naturale” which is flat mineral water or “acqua frizzante” which is fizzy mineral water also known as sparkling water. Do not ask for tap water, most restaurants will refuse to serve that to you. House wines can be ordered by the liter and are usually the same price as the water! Most will offer wine by the bottle also.
#5. Oil & vinegar are the only salad dressings offered.
“Italian dressing” in Italy does not exist. That salad dressing was (yes, you guessed it) Americanized as well! When ordering a salad in Italy, the waiter will bring extra virgin olive oil and vinegar to the table or “olio e aceto”. This is the only way Italians eat insalata. Another fun fact! Italians will absolutely not dip their bread into olive oil and balsamic.
#6. No bread before pasta!
With foods like pizza, pasta and focaccia most think that Italians eat nothing BUT carbs. This is actually not the case. When ordering pasta, Italians would never consider eating their bread before their bucatini. The bread that is served at restaurants is used to scoop up the leftover pasta sauce onto your plate and ONLY when you are finished consuming the pasta.
#7. There are no such things as “doggy bags” to bring leftovers with you.
Italians love fresh, homemade meals. They do not appreciate leftovers the way we do here in the states. You must be careful not to over order while dining in Italy. The pasta that is left on your plate will be taken away and not returned back to you. So, enjoy the food that is in front of you while you can but do not expect to take it home with you.
#8. Some dishes will not exist in all of Italy.
Rome is world famous for Carbonara. Florence is known for its Fagioli and Venetians go crazy for their risotto. Wherever you travel in Italy, each region will provide you their own flavors. So the food you enjoy in Rome will not necessarily resemble what you enjoy in Sorrento. Insider tip: before heading to Italy, do some research as to the local specialties in each of the places that you will be staying.
#9. Cheese does not always go on your dish.
It is not customary to ask for grated cheese on top of your dish. Sprinkling grated cheese on pasta dishes and Italian entrees is yet again a very American thing to do. Unless your waiter offers you a spoonful of grated cheese, do not ask for it. It is not meant to be on that dish or it will be offered after it is served.
#10. Enjoy a caffe or digestive after dinner.
Only foreigners will order a cappuccino with or after dinner in Italy. Italians would much rather order a caffe or macchiato after savoring a full, slow meal. Cappuccino’s are filled with milk and cream and is considered much too heavy after consuming a bunch of carbs. It is also very common to order a caffe corretto after dining, which is a shot of espresso spiked with liqueur. Insider tip: NEVER pass up on dessert while in Italy.
#11. Ask for your bill, when YOU want it.
Here in the States, we are so accustomed to the waiter bringing us our check when we are finished dining. This is not the case in Italy. The waiters in Italy want you to sit and enjoy your meal and do not want to hurry you out the door. Instead, they will wait for you to ask for the bill (which you can simply do so by flagging them down and requesting the “il conto” when you are ready to pay because they do not want to rush you out the door.
#12. Peel your fruits and vegetables.
Italians do not consume fruits and vegetables with the skin on them. They will always peel the skin off first. Many think that this is because Italians think the pesticides are unhealthy but most will say that this is because of tradition. If you start to bite into a fruit that still has the skin on it, you will most likely have the fruit ripped from your hand and the skin cut off for you by a local. Don’t get embarrassed this way 😉
#13. Arrive late to any dinner party or dining event.
It is considered rude in Italy to arrive early or on time to a dinner event. Italians will always try and arrive just a tad after the planned time as to not rush the host or chef.
Below you can find pictures shared by Travel Consultant Julie Skrainka, who travelled to Sorrento back in May. She & her husband, Alan spent an evening at their Agriturismo making pizzas with their host Natalia, her mother-in-law and her husband Luigi. Once Julie & her husband were finished creating their pizza masterpieces, Luigi then baked them in their own beautiful wood-fired oven.
Read more of See Italy’s article, written by Chris Atwood here
Hungry for your next Italian adventure?
Contact us to get started on planning your next vacation to Italy!
Call us: 314-439-5700
Visit us: 1022 Executive Parkway; St. Louis, Missouri 63141
This trip of a lifetime began when my aunt and uncle came to me for help planning their cruise to Alaska. As we got further into the planning process, my cousin and I decided to book our own room and tag along!
We started our trip by flying into Vancouver two days before our cruise was scheduled to depart. We stayed at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel which was in a great location for exploring the city. To see some of the beautiful scenery in the surrounding area, we booked a small group tour with a local guide. He took us North to Squamish, where we were able to see Shannon Falls, the Sea to Sky Gondola, and the famous suspension bridges.
Our first full day on the ship was a day at sea. We decided to hangout on the top deck and enjoy the sunny weather while keeping an eye out for whales and dolphins. That evening we cruised through the inside passage, and the crew opened up the bow of the ship so we could all get a great view as we sailed forward! We then went to dinner in the main dining room and got a table next to a window to continue enjoying the passing scenery.
The first port we visited was Ketchikan, where we booked an excursion to go sea kayaking. Ketchikan is known for being the rainiest city in Alaska, and even though there was a light rain falling when we started our tour, the guides were prepared with rain gear that kept us completely dry as we paddled through the peaceful coves! After our kayaking adventure, we walked through the famous Creek Street. The sun came out and we had perfect weather as we did some shopping and sampled local beers. We then returned to the ship and spotted lots of eagles as we sailed on to our next port!
Our next stop was Juneau, Alaska’s capitol city. We started or day by visiting the famous Mendenhall Glacier. We took a leisurely hike down to the lake for a closer view of the glacier and Nugget Falls.
Our next adventure in Juneau was an excursion that I had been looking forward to for months. We had decided to splurge and book a helicopter tour to a dogsled camp on top of a glacier, and it was definitely worth it! The helicopter ride took about 15 minutes each way, and the views from the sky were stunning. When we landed at the dogsled camp, the workers there gave us an insight to their way of life and let us meet some of their sled dogs. (As an animal lover, I was in heaven!) They hooked up a sled and we took off on a ride around the snow-covered glacier. I was happy to see how much the dogs loved running through the snow, and we could see that they were well taken care of by their handlers. This tour was very well done and was a highlight of the trip!
Our next port was Skagway, which is known for the White Pass and Yukon Railroad. We had planned to take the famous train excursion, but there was a landslide the night before and the railroad was closed for repairs. Instead, we took a bus tour up the Klondike Highway (which runs parallel to the train route) and had a great time! Our local driver made multiple stops for us to get out and take pictures of the beautiful scenery, and we spotted a family of bears hanging out right next to the highway.
We spent the rest of the day hiking a local trail, sampling the local breweries, and walking around the historic town before heading back to the ship.
When we arrived in Seward, we were sad to leave the ship, but excited to head up to Denali! We boarded a motor coach and began the drive North. We were able to stop at Potter Marsh for some free time and wildlife watching, and then we continued our drive. As we approached the park, our driver stopped at a scenic viewing point and we got our first look at the massive Denali Mountain! We then arrived at the impressive McKinley Chalet, which would be our home for the next 3 nights.
Because we booked a Triple Denali tour, we had another day in the park to do whatever we wanted! We decided to go whitewater rafting, and even though the water was freezing, our wetsuits kept us warm and dry. Our experienced guide told us fun stories about his life in Alaska and kept us safe as we paddled through the rapids. After our exciting rafting tour, we took a relaxing hike that followed a river and led us to a scenic mountainside with a whole family of caribou.
After our adventure in Denali, we boarded the McKinley Explorer for our scenic train ride back to Anchorage. The dome windows gave us great visibility as we traveled through the mountains. There were lots of food and drink options available onboard and we had a guide that gave us information about the areas we were passing through. This was a fun and comfortable way to make the 8-hour journey!
We had one night in Anchorage, and then our flight home was late the next day. We had lots of fun walking around town, shopping, and trying out more local breweries! I was glad that we had free time to explore this unique town before heading back to reality.
Overall, this was an amazing vacation! Holland America did a fantastic job of helping us experience Alaska by land and sea. The transition from the ship to Denali was seamless and very well organized. Each employee we met was so kind and helpful, and I would highly recommend Holland America for anyone who wants to visit Alaska. Many people consider this a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but we enjoyed it so much that I know I’ll be back again someday!
Contact Maggie at 314-439-5700 ext. 120 or send her an email to begin planning your Alaska adventure.
Just because you're pregnant this doesn't mean you have to sit at home for the next 9 months waiting for your child to be born. Now is a great time for you to get out there and travel because once that baby comes, traveling will be put on hold for a while (still trying to figure out how I'm going to cope with this reality!). With that being said, there are some challenges and joys while traveling that I experienced first-hand and here are some tips that I put together to help you as you make your travel arrangements.
#1 - Get Maternity Leggings ASAP
Whether you choose to fly, drive, walk, run, or lay down you will want to be comfortable at all times, or as much as your growing baby will allow you. The best possible thing to wear is maternity leggings, and I bought about five pairs from Motherhood Maternity before starting my travels. Depending on the color and design they cost anywhere from $15 - $20 a piece (gotta love the cost of maternity clothes!). They have definitely been a lifesaver and I take them everywhere!
#2 - Combat Swollen Feet
If your feet don't swell while you travel then consider yourself VERY lucky. This is probably the most difficult thing I've had to deal with while traveling. If you're in a car or plane for long hours without moving those little piggies just get bigger and bigger and it can become extremely uncomfortable. Try elevating your feet as much as possible and be sure to get a pair of compression socks (aka the most attractive things you will ever wear). I purchased mine at Walgreens for about $7. If your spouse or a very considerate friend is traveling with you and they are willing to rub your feet, definitely take advantage of that as well!
#3 - Ask for Non-Alcoholic Equivalent Drinks
One of my favorite things about traveling is tasting that area's local craft beers and cocktails. In the pregnancy world, you're often left to try that region's finest Coca-Cola or aqua products instead. However, any time I found myself at a brewery or restaurant I always asked if they had any NA (non-alchoholic) beers/root beers or if they could make a virgin Piña Coloda or Strawberry Daiquiri. Just because you're pregnant that doesn't mean you can't still have something similar to the alcohol you're used to drinking. It also helps to make you not feel so left out when you're with a group of people who get to enjoy the real thing.
#4 - Take Your Maternity Pillow
First off, if you don't have a maternity pillow go out and get one now! Unfortunately they are not cheap though, I got mine for $100 at Destination Maternity but it was $100 well spent. Sleep is so important during pregnancy so why sacrifice your quality of sleep while traveling just because it's a bulky item? Obviously if you're flying this probably isn't the most user-friendly carry-on item, but on a road trip, cram that sucker in the trunk and get a good night's sleep when you check in to your hotel. You, and your growing belly, will thank you for it.
#5 - Go on a Babymoon
Babymoon? What's that? Essentially it's your last vacation before the baby is born. This is your time to be with your spouse or partner while traveling before you have to lug around Pack n Play's, strollers and diaper bags. Take the time to reflect on this exciting time in your life as a couple and enjoy the wonders of traveling before you have a new travel partner with you. My husband and I went to Gulf Shores to relax on the beach for a few days and I would highly recommend it. Pregnancy is exhausting at all hours of the day, so getting to just sit on the beach and float in the water to relieve belly weight and back pain was the perfect thing.
#6 - Talk With Your Doctor
One final piece of advice, always talk with your doctor before making your travel arrangements. Depending on how your pregnancy has been going, they may give you a cut off at how many weeks you're allowed to travel, how far you can travel, or they may give you specific restrictions. For example, my doctor has advised me not to swim at Lake of the Ozarks. Although I've swam in this lake my entire life, it is filled with bacteria that can be dangerous to the baby, so until I give birth I just have to hang out on the dock and stare at the water. I have been told other lakes, pools and the ocean are safe to swim in, however had I not said anything to my doctor I never would've realized I could've put my baby at risk.
Your consultant at Brentwood Travel will be up to date on all of the latest regulations and amenities the airlines, tour operators, hotels and cruise lines may have for pregnant women, plus the areas that could be infected with Zika. No need to go in on your own without being fully informed!
To book your Babymoon, contact the Brentwood Travel team today at
314-439-5700 or send us an email!
Brentwood Travel Vacation Experts
In the 63 years since Brentwood Travel was founded in 1957, we've grown into the largest, full-service travel agency in the Greater St. Louis area. No matter what your travel needs may be, our consultants will be able to assist you.