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Travel Tips Quarterly

Trusted Tips from Your Travel Advisor at
Notch Above Tours

Few among us are lucky enough to sleep well on an overnight flight. But just because you can’t get a full eight-hours of quality shut-eye doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a night of endless sitcom reruns. Arrive at your destination ready to go with these tried-and-true tactics.

Splurge on an Upgrade
Your best chance for a relaxing night’s sleep is by paying for the privilege. Those lie-flat beds may be expensive, but for travelers who can’t afford to arrive groggy, they’re your best bet. If a business class ticket isn’t in the cards, at least shell out for a seat with extra leg room.

Layer Up
Wearing loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabric is obvious, but being comfortable on an overnight flight also requires you to adapt to bewildering swings in temperature. Our expert advice: wear layers.

Keep Your Feet Warm
Nothing inhibits sleep like cold feet, and if you’ve ever flown overnight, you know those under-seat drafts can be brutal. Protect your toes by donning a fresh pair of warm socks, preferably wool, before you settle down for the night.

Turn Off the Screen
Research shows that limiting screen time before bed improves sleep quality. The same rule applies on planes. Give your body a fighting chance by turning off all LED devices and mobile phones.

It’s All About the Accessories
Sometimes it’s the little things that help the most. Conveniently, those little things all fit in a small carry-on. An inflatable neck pillow, sleeping mask, pashmina and ear plugs or noise reduction headphones can make a world of difference.

Eat a Light Meal
Stress, anxiety, excitement…these are only some of the emotions stirred by air travel. Add a heavy meal to the mix and you have a recipe for a long night of disturbed sleep. Help relax your mind and body by eating a healthy well-balanced meal.

Half the battle of a successful family getaway is picking the right location. What does it take for an island to meet the mark? First, the basics: abundant sunshine, pristine beaches and a safe atmosphere. After that comes plenty of family-friendly activities and opportunities for adult relaxation. The right destination also needs to be easy to get to and get around. That’s a tall order, but luckily there are plenty of viable options. Here are our personal favorites guaranteed to make everyone happy.

Note: Many of our clients think they should avoid the Caribbean due to recent hurricane damage. We can assure you that the islands listed below, as well as 70% of the Caribbean islands, are definitely open for business and would gladly welcome your visit.
The Bahamas
Whether you choose a spacious resort like Atlantis or prefer the laid-back charm of Harbour Island, the Bahamas offer something for everyone. Family-oriented adventures abound — think snorkeling, exploring Lucayan National Park by kayak and swimming with dolphins — and there are enough golf courses, spas and high-end shopping to keep parents happy.
Grand Cayman
A quick trip from the East Coast, Grand Cayman is a tropical paradise with plenty to see and do for your entire brood. Along with the requisite white sand beaches and turquoise water, the island features family-friendly activities like pirate ship and sea turtle farm tours and submarine trips.
With a seven-mile stretch of beach lined with hotels, dining and recreational options, the opportunities for family fun are practically endless on this Dutch island. In addition, the desert landscape offers an excellent beach alternative with natural attractions such as Arikok National Park, where cacti grow to unexpected heights and fantastically shaped divi-divi trees make for a fun hike.
Amelia Island
For those looking to stay stateside, Amelia Island, off Florida’s northeastern coast, is a pristine paradise complete with dune-filled beaches, championship golf courses, historical charm and boutique shopping.
Get back to nature on Maui, where your family can go hiking in Haleakala National Park, spot sharks at the Maui Ocean Center, take a ride on the Sugar Cane Train or simply enjoy some of the best beaches in Hawaii.

Chances are you’ve visited at least one of the 1,073 World Heritage sites on UNESCO’s ever-growing list of historically and culturally significant destinations. Bucket list all stars include the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge and Serengeti National Park, but not all the sites are as well-known as these storied icons. Here are six under-the-radar gems that might not be on your list — yet. 

Semmering Railway — Austria
Spectacular mountain views will almost make you forget that you’re riding on one of the world’s greatest feats of civil engineering. Built between 1848 and 1854, this dramatic railway utilizes 14 tunnels, 16 major viaducts, 118 stone bridges and 11 iron bridges to pass through some of the highest mountains in the Alps.

Tsodilo — Botswana
Known as the “Louvre of the Desert,” this historic section of the Kalahari Desert is home to the highest concentration of rock art in the world. More than 4,500 paintings are preserved on massive rock formations that rise dramatically from the desert floor making for a remarkable archaeological record that traces human activity from the Stone Age through to the 19th century.

Longmen Grottoes — China
Here you will find the largest and most impressive collection of Chinese stone carving from the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties (316-907). Located alongside the Yi River in the Henan province, the grottoes’ caves and niches represent the high point of Chinese stone carving and contain almost 110,000 Buddhist statues, more than 60 stupas and 2,800 inscriptions.

Paphos — Cyprus
Inhabited since the Neolithic period, the city of Paphos still holds the remains of villas, palaces, theaters, fortresses and tombs dedicated to the cult of Aphrodite. Legend says the Greek goddess was born on the island and the buildings constructed in her honor contain some of the world’s most magnificent mosaics.

Old Rauma — Finland
Situated on one of the oldest harbors in Finland, Old Rauma is an outstanding example of a medieval Nordic city. Built around a Franciscan monastery, the city is composed of some 600 wooden buildings that preserve the region’s spectacular architectural heritage.

Aldabra Atoll — Seychelles
The world’s second largest coral atoll, isolated Aldabra is home to the largest population of giant tortoises. Tourism is strictly limited, but the lucky few who get to make the trip experience a marine ecosystem like no other.

Many of our clients prefer it when our travel agency takes care of every detail of a trip—from flights and transportation to accommodations and activities. They love that “total package” feel about professional travel planning.

But did you know that you can use our services for just a part of that package too? For example, if you travel often like we do, you have probably racked up enough frequent flier miles to fly to the moon and back. But when it comes time to cash in those miles to book your air travel, don’t forget about turning to us to help with the rest of the journey!

Thanks to our affiliation with Travel Leaders Network, we are able to secure exclusive deals and bonus amenities at hotels around the world, along with great discounts on car rentals and tours. For example, book one of our Select Hotels & Resorts properties, and we can set you up with complimentary breakfast, room upgrades (upon availability), and possible credits, gifts and more.

So let’s work together! Use your connections to book your free flights, then turn to us to make the rest of your journey absolutely perfect.


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