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The “Lived” Travel Experience

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take a journey with me

Why the Covid Vaccine for me?

Why the Covid Vaccine for me?

There are many reasons people have for choosing to or not choosing to take the Covid vaccine. Everyone is entitled to their choice and opinion, and I respect that choice, whatever it may be. I have decided to take the Covid vaccine. It’s now part of my lived experience, and so I’d like to share my reasons for the choice I made.

I love to travel. For someone like myself who loves traveling, the thought of not traveling as I want is a painful realization. Just as I make preparations for travel to specific destinations, this is also preparing for a journey. The Covid 19 impact is worldwide, and if I want to travel the world, I need to be ready.

I realize that there may not be a lengthy body of research on the vaccines and their long-term effects, but pausing my life as I did in 2020, was not an option. I have always lived a life of taking risks and choices that are slightly different; this is simply another one of those choices for me.

I’m twice over a Singapore ex-pat, and I’d like to go back at some point. It is not an impossibility currently, but Singapore has made significant strides in combatting the virus, and I believe returning vaccinated will make for a smoother return process.

I want to socialize more without the constant worry about the Covid virus. Being vaccinated does not mean that I will not take precautions as I currently do, but I will feel more reassured with my social interactions. When I interact with my friends and family that also are vaccinated, there will be less worry on my mind.

My thoughts are not to guide anyone’s decision on whether to get vaccinated or not. I share my lived experience, and this is now part of my lived experience. Have you considered getting vaccinated? I’d like to hear about it.

Why EbonyTravelers?

Why EbonyTravelers?

I’m fifty-six, married, and mom to a son who’s 24 and a daughter 21. I have a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development and a Doctorate in Organizational Management. My written work has involved the research and exploration of broken agreements and management in the airline industry.

I spent 23 years as an international flight attendant for a major US airline and have lived as an ex-pat in Asia for over ten years. I love to travel, am fond of people and their cultures, and traveling in general. Traveling is often a topic of conversation for me, and I am genuinely passionate about sharing my travel stories and experiences. Blogging is a way of giving my honest guidance about travel, interacting with my audience, and becoming a source of insight into the travel experience.

Many people interested in travel often see photos and images that appeal to the audience but do not address the realities of travel. My experience as an international flight attendant has allowed me to see the excitement and pleasure of vacationers. However, it has also given me many opportunities to see the grief of loved ones returning home from a picturesque vacation without a loved one.

My goal as a blog writer is not just to show the picturesque travel sights but to share my lived experiences so that when one thinks about travel, they also think about the realities they may encounter. I hope to share serious posts about traveling while being respectful, matter-of-fact, and enthusiastic.

I hope you have enjoyed my posts to date and that you have found value in my tips and advice. I invite you to like, follow, share and stay connected with me on social media and subscribing to my email list. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Travel credit cards.

Travel credit cards.

There are many different travel cards available, so it is essential to know how they differ and whether they work for you and your travel style.  Here are my five takes on travel credit cards and why you may consider using them.

1.Travel cards usually earn points or miles every time you use them.  Therefore, it means that even though you are not traveling, your simple everyday purchases could be working on getting you to your next travel destination. Some cards even offer double points for using the card at certain establishments or even during specific periods. These points can then convert to discounted hotel stays, airfare, and seat upgrades, to name a few.

2. If travel perks are one of the main reasons you choose a travel card, then it’s essential to read the fine print and understand how you can earn rewards with the card and redeem the rewards. If the card you chose only accrues perks on travel-related spending and you are not a frequent traveler, then consider another card. A card that allows you to earn points on everyday expenditures might work better for saving towards a trip.

3.If you travel consistently on a specific airline, then a specific airline-branded travel card might be worthwhile. Usual perks might include a free checked bag, priority check-in and boarding, a seat upgrade, and the ability to earn elite status with the airline. You are also allowed some perks when using airlines associated with the airline-specific card, such as lounge access.

4.It’s imperative that you join the airline loyalty program and have your travel card linked to that account. As a rule, you should join the frequent flyer program of every airline you fly on as it’s free, and sometimes extra points are given just for signing up.  Also, note that you usually have to join within 24 hours of travel to get credit for the flight taken.

5. Many non-airline branded credit cards have travel perks attached. However, travelers should research what card best suits them and their needs.  Some cards advertise lounge access, but only if you are traveling first-class or internationally. Others allow access but only to the cardholder and one guest. While some only allow lounge access during a specific time before or after a flight. If you happen to be traveling with a family or stuck at the airport for an extended time, having a travel card with perks you can’t use can be frustrating.

Overall, I strongly believe in frequent flyer programs, branded and non-branded travel cards.  As a person who travels often, I choose my travel itinerary based on what best works for me and what card I hold. How about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Keeping personal boundaries when you travel.

Keeping personal boundaries when you travel.

Establishing your personal boundary can be a challenge when traveling as you have to share communal space. However, understanding your and other people’s boundaries is important to having positive traveling experiences.

Travelers must remember that cultural norms often define someone’s perception of personal space, and people will have different sets of meanings and values. When traveling, remember that even though norms are different, you do not have to accept any interaction that violates your personal boundary.

It is important to make sure your boundaries are respected but is it equally important to respect them in others. Your actions and words may be innocent in your personal relationships yet could be construed as rude and offensive to your fellow traveler.

While many may understand the word “no” to mean exactly that, some people and cultures may believe that a no will eventually lead to a yes. Be clear in your interactions when traveling so that there is no question about your meaning or intent.

Remember that being kind and being nice are not the same. Being kind involves being considerate and respectful to others while being nice usually means giving more consideration to others than ourselves. Often, being nice crosses your personal boundary, be kind and say no.

Finally, keep in mind the role of stereotyping in our interactions, especially for women of color who are often seen as exotic and more sexually permissive than other women.

Have you experienced any issues in keeping your personal boundary when you’ve traveled? I’d like to know.

Five tips to make traveling easier.

Five tips to make traveling easier.

Traveling can no doubt be a stressful experience, but there are ways to make it less so. Here are my five tips to help you make your traveling experience less nerve-wracking and easier.

1. If you’re traveling internationally, make sure you have your documentation with you and readily available.  Do your research and make sure you have the appropriate visa. Part of the airline gate agents’ job is to make sure you have the correct documentation, but if they don’t, you will be the one being denied entry into a country. Additionally, in the age of COVID, if testing documentation is required, make sure you have it available when asked.

2. Whether traveling internationally or domestically, you’ll need an airline ticket or boarding pass to get through security. You’ll also need identification like a passport or driver’s license. Have your documentation ready and in hand for the security checkpoint. Now you may have access to a mobile boarding pass. Make sure it is pulled up and ready when you approach the security screener.

3. Make sure you don’t have prohibited items in your carry-on. Know liquid limits and make sure you are adhering so you don’t hold up the security line. You may have to make arrangements for your prohibited items or have them thrown away.

4. Ensure all your luggage goes through the security scanner before you do. It isn’t easy to see what’s happening to your luggage once you go through the security checkpoint. It’s much easier to keep an eye on your belongings when they are in front of you rather than behind.

5. Get alerts from the airline for flight information such as delays and departure information. Especially at larger airports, airlines can operate from more than one terminal, and it can be a long walk from your entry point to your flight departure gate.

These are just a few ways to make the flying and airport experience a more pleasant one. Do you have any other great tips? I’d like to know.

Traveling with younger children.

Traveling with younger children.

I was an international flight attendant before I had children, so I thought I had all the knowledge I needed to travel with children.  Knowing and doing are two different things. I made many mistakes along the way, and it has been a long time since I’ve traveled with children.  Here are my five tips to help young mothers on the journey.

1. Traveling with pre-made infant formula or breast milk is allowed through TSA.  Inform them in advance that you have liquids for your baby so that you will be processed accordingly.  Not every TSA station, even at the same airport, treats everyone the same or seems to have the same policies at times. Using clear containers for your baby’s feeding is recommended, and having just enough feedings for travel time plush a small extra is usually enough.

2. Airplanes are always equipped with babies and children in mind. Some even have special-size life jackets or supplies and activities designed for children in mind.  What is common, however, is a bathroom equipped with a drop-down changing table for babies.  Use it and not the seat. It’s unhygienic and inconsiderate to your fellow passengers.  Also, don’t hand the dirty diaper to your flight attendant. Use those airsick bags provided and dispose of them in the restroom.

3. Children have different preferences for their feedings.  If your child prefers warm bottles, make it hot before you leave, wrap it in aluminum foil and towels, and place it between diapers.  It will not stay warm forever, but it should last a shorter, distanced flight.  Towels can serve as double duty for cleanup, and you can never run out of diapers.

4. Try to arrive at the airport with time to get through security without the stress of possibly missing your flight.  Give yourself time for the realities of traveling with children and the extra security you may encounter.

5. Traveling with infants allows you a few privileges such as early boarding and gate-checking your stroller.  Use the stroller to get through the airport and to your gate.  Once there, you should check your stroller, so it is not another piece of luggage you need to worry about.  You will not need it in flight, and in most cases, it can be delivered to you when you get off the plane.

Traveling with children is indeed a stressful experience.  However, there are so many ways to make it less so and a pleasant experience.  Have you traveled with children? Do you have any suggestions? I’d like to hear.