Author: Mary Chong

Bad Press and Cruise Ships

There’s been a lot of bad press these days when it comes to Cruise Ships. In the past week there have been issues with Carnival Legend and Carnival Dream. A few weeks ago there was the Carnival Triumph….then of course there was the Costa Concordia disaster last year. I’ve been getting questions almost daily from friends and family (many who have never cruised before) about whether it’s safe to cruise and if we would sail again. And although I prefer not to discuss negative matters and traumatic events like these I’m going to weigh in with my opinion. (I’m...

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Flashlight for Safety

This may seem obvious when you read it but do you have a flashlight in your travel bag? OR your daily purse/bag? Flashlight for Safety – better safe than sorry is my motto We live in a crazy world folks and you never know when there is going to be a black out, disaster…or zombie apocalypse. That’s why when we are at home we have smoke detectors, flashlights, fire extinguishers, extra water and food. But for some reason, we go to work or vacation and we don’t think about this, we become complacent, we drop our guard, we rely...

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Carry-On Luggage – One Bag to Hold it All

The quest for the ideal piece of carry-on luggage is like a search for the ring in the movie “Lord of the Rings”. Throughout the journey of en-light-enment, you’ll scale mountains of luggage piles, fight off bargain hunters at sales, and have to keep your wits sharp to solve the puzzle of measurements and weights. If you previously read my article entitled “Carry-On Luggage Only – My journey to En-LIGHT-enment” then you saw the reasons why I’m determined to travel carry-on only for all my adventures. Here’s my deductive reasoning on what type of bag to shop for if you plan on travelling carry-on only. First things first….the bag. Luggage – Weight and size Before you get just any carry-on bag, you have to think about the weight and size of the bag AND the airline that you plan on flying. Airline rules vary from carrier to carrier so your best bet is to do some research and find the airline that you are likely to fly on with the smallest size/weight limitations and go with those dimensions. This way you have all your bases covered. For our travels throughout Asia we travel on Tiger Airways– size limitations are 54cm x 38cm x 23cm bag maximum weight 10 kg and Air Asia – size limitations are 56cm x 36cm x 23cm bag maximum weight 7 kg. In Europe, Ryanair...

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Hong Kong – View from Victoria Peak

No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a trip by tram up to see the view from Victoria Peak and the harbour down below….everyone has done it and bought the t-shirt in one of the many night markets to prove it. The views are breathtaking…even through the city smog. There are a couple of ways of getting up to Victoria Peak. You can bus it or take the historic Peak Tram, which has been in operation since 1888. The Tram ride by itself is an adventure – as it clickity clack goes along the track, you can feel...

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Travel Tip – Reusable Water Bottle – Would you like some germs with your water?

Let’s say you’re packing for your trip and you think “Hey…I have an idea! I’m going to bring my own reusable water bottle and I’m going to just fill it with ice and fresh water from the cruise ship, hotel, resort etc. for when I’m out touring! I’ll save money AND the environment!” Before you continue with this thought I’m going to assume that you checked whether the water at your travel destination is drinkable right? Well then that’s a GREAT Idea! I do this all the time BUT, did you pack dish detergent or something to wash out...

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Dubrovnik, Croatia and the Old City Wall and Harbour

When I look back at this photo of Dubrovnik, Croatia and the Old City Wall and Harbour I remember a warm spring day and ice cream. It’s funny how memorable moments (for me anyway) involve all the senses…the sights, the smells, and food. This was a cruise port on Norwegian cruise line and one of our favorite stops on the itinerary. One of the good things about having to take a tender boat into port versus actually having to dock the entire cruise ship are moments like this. If we had docked, we would have been on the other...

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Bleach Wipes – Always Keep Some in Your Travel Bag

I always travel with a pack of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Fresh Scent, To Go Pack!, 9 Ct. I know you are thinking that I’m a germaphobe and paranoid but I once spent 5 days INSIDE a cruise ship cabin in the Caribbean because of some bug that I picked up on my flight down to the ship. This is well before anyone knew about Norwalk and SARS and before my “Bleach Wipe Strategy”. If you are interested in reading more about cruise ships and getting sick on them check out this article: “Who cares if you get sick on...

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Carry-On Luggage – My journey to en-LIGHT-enment

When I use the phrase “carry-on luggage only” with friends and family I normally get a chuckle and a “you’ve got to be kidding me” as a response. But I’m serious about this….really serious. Outside of the obvious reasons like saving the $20-30 that we now have to pay the airlines for each piece of checked luggage or making a fast getaway once you get off the plane. (You can check the Fare Compare website here for a listing of both domestic and international baggage fees). My reason is more personal. Here’s why… A little while ago on a...

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Memory Monday – Hong Kong Shanghai Street

As I look through photos from past travels I’m always reminded of the smells, sounds and tastes of the place captured within the lens. This is one of those favorite memories. I’m first generation Canadian Chinese and although my first trip to Asia and Hong Kong was back when I was 18 years old – I don’t really remember much of that trip other than doing a lot of shopping (that was a long time ago!). This trip however, I remember well… Hong Kong Shanghai Street I recall walking down Shanghai Street near our hotel in the area of...

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