Road tripping with a newborn – disaster or adventure?

My love for travel and exploring new destinations was not going to be put on hold when we decided to start a family. However, I did know that certain destinations would be off limits for a while and that sacrifices were to be made. My road trip in the USA from New York to San Francisco is a perfect example of an adventure that could have been a disaster if a newborn baby was my +1. Now that my little girl is 3 months old, what better time to introduce her to the wonderful places and sights our country has to offer….will she remember it? Probably not but I certainly will.


Our garden route adventure begins in October and we’ll be covering a few places in our two week road trip. Starting in Cape Town, our first stop will be Knysna. I have always loved Knysna but haven’t stayed there as yet. I am certainly looking forward to it and cannot wait to review a hotel or guest house that’s perfect for the young traveling couple with a baby in tow.

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The low down on South Africa’s new low cost airline, FlySafair

Let’s face it, sometimes cheap is not always the option you go for, especially when flying. Sometimes spending just a little extra can ensure you get extra leg room, baggage allowance, more miles and just better reliability and trust. The South African airline space is not extremely competitive, with only a few operators dominating popular routes, you are not left with much choice and can sometimes fork out around R3000 for a single ticket (if you are desperate).

Introduce FlySafair and we now have a true low cost airline. When FlySafair launched I must admit I was very hesitant to fly with them. Surely there had to be something wrong with either the aircraft or the service for those prices?! Ticket prices were as low as R199 one way and that I just could not fathom.

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This week I was forced to fly FlySafair and it left me very impressed! A round trip to Johannesburg cost less than R1000 – this blew my mind! It was far more cheaper than any of what the other airlines were offering.

So what’s the deal with FlySafair?

  • Tickets are super cheap but you pay R150 to check in luggage (carry on luggage remains free) – no problem here as this is adopting major international models especially in the USA. It is the perfect solution for business travelers.
  • You can check in online 24 hours before your flight and the process allows you to select seats including selecting the exit row. Extra leg room? Why, yes thank you!
  • Pricing of snacks is affordable and on par with other airlines however the options are limited. It’s best to just grab something from the airport before boarding.
  • It’s a pity but there isn’t a loyalty program as yet which means no airline miles. However I am certain this is soon to come.
  • The flight attendants don’t seem to have tons of experience and the pilot does not make many announcements throughout the flight.

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The price of airline tickets in South Africa are sky rocketing and I definitely see myself booking a lot more flights via FlySafair again soon. Will you give them a try?

Introducing the Umbra travel jewellery organiser

travel-organizer-envelopeIf you’re an avid traveler who cannot leave home without a few pieces of your nicest jewellery then we have something in common. Regardless of which place or country I visit, I always take a few chains and earrings along (even though I hardly end up using it) because let’s face it, we need to be prepared! Now, I am not sure about you but I usually just stick all my jewellery into a small clutch bag which always ends up tangled, earring screws go missing and things get scratched. There are tons of jewellery organisers out there but let me introduce you to my personal favourite and it’s probably because I love their brand so much!

The Umbra Jewellery Travel Organiser is designed specifically for travelling. Not only is the bag travel themed but it is small and compact which makes travelling with it so enjoyable.  It is literally the size of an envelope which can fit into your carry on luggage as well. The organiser was designed by Erika Kovesdi, who has exhibited at ICFF in NYC, Chicago, and Tokyo, and at Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. Take a look at the below video to get a detailed look at the Umbra envelope travel organiser. If you love Umbra as much as I do and never knew where to find their products in South Africa then let me fill you in on a little secret….Boardmans, Yuppiechef and Superbalist.

 

About Umbra

“Design Is Our Soul.

It starts with design and ends with design. And for us, that means designing intelligent functions in appealing forms. We bring thought and creativity to everyday items through original design.”

Bathurst – A 19th Century English Village in South Africa

Bathurst is located in the Eastern Cape and its chief claim to fame is that it was the early administrative centre established by the British Government for the 1820 British Settlers. The town is quaint and does not offer tons of attractions to its visitors but the little that it does offer is quirky and nothing short of charming. Many of the original settler houses and other buildings have been preserved, and there remains much of the look and feel of an English village of the early 19th Century. The Pig and Whistle Inn, built in 1821, is at the heart of the village and is reputedly the oldest extant pub in the country.

We visited the iconic Bathurst Pineapple which is a 17 meter tall pineapple and home to the pineapple museum. It’s only a R10 admission fee and there’s tons of interesting facts to learn about pineapple farming. A must see, even if it’s just to snap a picture of the ginormous pineapple.

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I am always surprised by the amazing shops hidden away in towns like these. Bathurst has so many wonderful little shops with interesting things for sale. My favourite is Tales Of Antiquity. It is hard to describe but if you can picture a secondhand vintage shop with a mixture of antiques, clothing and bric à brac then you can imagine that Tales Of Antiquity has a lot to offer. I was thrilled to find so many gems including vintage dessert bowls; R110 for 6 and fine bone China tea cups for R35. If you’re looking to host the ultimate vintage tea party then this shop should definitely be on your list of things to see in Bathurst.

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CNN rated Bathurst South Africa’s most eccentric town and now I definitely know why. Make sure you have an entire day to spend here and preferably on a Sunday when the Farmers Market is on. Don’t worry, all the shops are open till late on Sunday too!

People Who Spend Money On Experiences Instead Of Things Are Much Happier

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When it’s payday and that direct deposit hits your account, you tend to swipe your card more in a day than your thumb swipes through Facebook, Instagram and Tinder combined. The instant gratification that comes along with the hefty price tags on new clothes, trendy sneakers and expensive jewelry is satisfying enough to be considered an actual addiction. But it’s crucial for us to remember the importance of investing in our life experiences even more so than splurging on the next big thing from our favorite designer; it’s true that money can’t buy you happiness.

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Written by Chris Riotta, Editor Elite Daily

What does New York City have to offer?

The last two days in New York City have been so amazing. This city is just full of life, lights and beauty. I have fallen completely in love. Some of the countries I have travelled to before have been “enough” for me. I was satisfied and knew I may not return. But New York has left the opposite effect on me, I have taken a bite out of this apple and I crave so much more!

Let’s start with day one. We met our New York Pass sponsors in Manhattan and collected our cards. Our first stop was Madame Tussauds. The lifelike wax sculptors completely blew my mind. From Kim Kardashian to Albert Einstein (not that you can put them on the same level), Madame Tussauds had it all.

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Second stop on day 2 was the Discovery Avengers exhibit. Marvel’s AVENGERS S.T.A.T.I.O.N. The Exhibition (Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network) is a completely immersive experience that brings visitors into the world of The AVENGERS. Visitors are granted S.H.I.E.L.D. access to the official S.T.A.T.I.O.N. headquarters and taken deep into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here visitors will have open access to a vast array of intelligence files, classified studies and experiments that explores the history and scientific origins of Marvel’s The Avengers. Visitors will also be given unprecedented access to some of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s most highly guarded artifacts such as Captain America’s Birth Pod, the Tesseract Portal Device, Loki’s Scepter, a hermetically sealed Chitauri and more, recovered after the Battle of New York. Need I say anymore?

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Third stop was Rockefeller Center. We did so much here including the Top of the Rock observation deck.

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All of these activities were made possible with the New York Pass. The pass grants you access to over 80 New York attractions and their fast track services allows you skip the long lines and head straight to the VIP line. We were so lucky to be seeing New York through this pass. If you ever visit New York City then you will be doing yourself the biggest favour by getting a New York Pass. It will literally save you thousands of $$$!

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The Rockefeller centre is also home to NBC studios. This means all our favourite talk shows take place here. We were incredibly lucky to get tickets to Late Night with Seth Meyers and was part of the live studio audience. The guest stars at the show was Rosario Dawson, Eugenio Derbez and Sturgill Simpson. It was surreal! I still cannot believe that it happened. Make sure you watch the full episode here.

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We did so much in-between as well. In a nutshell
– shopped at H & M
– visited Nintendo World
– had dinner at Bubba Gump
– walked around Times Square

New York is buzzing with Christmas spirit and Festive Cheer. Everyone is so friendly and they really know how to take customer service to another level. The remainder of the evening was spent outside the big tree watching the music show at Saks Fifth Avenue. The beauty of this city is visible everywhere; in its architecture, the food, the people and in the air.

Stayed tuned for more details on Day 2 in the Big Apple.

Avoiding beauty product explosions when flying

For those of you who travel often, you have most likely experienced your beauty products exploding or leaking inside your luggage. It is the last thing anyone wants to deal with when they arrive at their holiday destination. A few years ago (when I was none the wiser) my entire 250ml shampoo leaked out, all over my clothes! Needless to say I was not happy and vowed to never let that happen again. Since I travel quite frequently and never leave home without my products, I have put together a few tips to getting around those nasty explosions.

1. Do you really need all that hand cream?
Assess how much products you actually need. Going on vacation for 7 days compared to 30 days will determine how much products you need. It also depends on where you are going as well. For example 7 days in Thailand might warrant more shampoo than 7 days in Switzerland. Shorter journeys might see you using the hotel soap instead of taking shower gel.

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2. It comes in small sizes
Almost every product manufactured these days comes in a subsequent travel size. Purchasing travel size items is sometimes worth the money spent.

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3. Meet your new best friend – Zip lock bags
Add each product to a zip lock bag. This will make sure if any spillage occurs, it is safely contained in the bag and does not spill onto your clothing.

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4. Cover bottle openings with cling wrap
This little DIY tip is simply there for extra insurance. Open the bottle, place some cling wrap over the opening and close tight again.

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5. Use solid products
Swap out your shower gel for soap, shampoo for solid shampoos (yes, they make those) and face wash for a wet wipes.

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Did you know?
Plastic containers explode when air pressure changes due to elevation

Sivart Creative Studio are all about bags!

Sivart Creative Studio are all about bags! Stylish bags, overnight bags, the essential backpack and even promotional coolers and tog bags for any business or enterprise. They have a wide range of fabrics and designs to choose from and have quickly made a name for themselves amongst trendy fashionistas. 10698678_1553607651535306_1101894453521723692_n

Sivart will be making sure we travel in style during our road trip. They will sponsoring one Essential Backpack and one Overnight Bag for us to use. To make things even more special, we will be using the bags from their Yellow Range which represents Cape Town, the World Design Capital for 2014. Take a look at this awesome newly completed overnight bag and don’t forget to take a sneak peek inside my Sivart Backpack.

To find out more about how you can travel in style contact Sivart Creative Studio and order your bag today – sivartstudio@gmail.com. Don’t forget to Like Sivart Creative Studio on Facebook for updates, specials and even giveaways. facebook

What’s in my travel bag? 10 things I can’t leave behind

I travel quite frequently and I always make sure I have the absolute essentials when flying and travelling. There are some things that I simply will not get on board a plane without and make my life so much easier when I am away from home. These are the 10 things I won’t leave behind.

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1. Medication…and lots of it. You will always find Stugeron in my bag. I am prone to travel sickness so I will never leave home without these meds.

2. Power Bank and cables. I cannot run the risk of a dead iPhone or iPad so to ensure this never happens, my power bank is always fully charged and cables are kept close by in case it needs a sudden boost of electrical juice.

3. Lip balm and moisturizer. Flying can leave your skin terribly dry. It is essential to keep your skin hydrated all the time by applying layers of moisturizer.

4. Pens. Because no one likes standing in long immigration and passport control queues waiting to fill in those pesky forms.

5. Bubblegum. Minty gum works the best and can be used for many different reasons. It helps you quickly freshen up your breath on those long flights and prevents your ears from exploding due to air pressure.

6. Gadgets. My iPhone, iPad, Macbook Air and earphones are always packed neatly into my carry on luggage. I simply cannot live without these gadgets, no matter where I am going.

7. Wet Wipes. You will always find wet wipes in my handbags because it is so versatile. Trust me on this one, pop a packet in your travel bag and you will quickly realize why it is such a life saver.

8. Socks. Never walk bare foot on a plane…..just don’t!

9. Snacks. Depending on your airline or time of flight, food doesn’t get severed for a while. Make sure you always have something to munch on, just in case. Nuts is always a winner.

10. The essentials. Don’t forget your credit cards, passport, health insurance (medical aid) card and drivers licence.

I am super excited to be using my Sivart Creative Studio backpack during my upcoming trip to America. It can easily store all my necessities and so cute to use.