Monthly Archives

May 2015

Tips of the Trade

Tips For First Time Flyers

I have been meeting more and more people who have never flown on an airplane before. Then I meet others who rarely ever fly. Many of them were confused and a bit nervous about what to expect.  So I have some tips for flying the friendly skies. I also have asked a couple of great travel bloggers and a flight attendant their tips.
Tips for First Time Flyers
HollyDayz Tips
You are allowed 1 personal item and 1 carry-on bag. Personal items are purses or murses (man bag), camera bags, computer bags, book bags, etc. This bag typically will go under the seat in front of you. You should always carry valuable items in your carry-on bag. Never put jewelry or electronics in your checked bag. They could get damaged or even worse stolen. Here are some essential items  I think you should consider bringing in your carry-on.
Usually a carry-on bag is a small suitcase or small duffel. It is always a good idea to have an extra outfit and some of your toiletries in your carry-on bag. It is a great precaution because you never know if you will get separated from your checked bag. You also never know, you may need something out of the bag that you couldn’t fit in your personal item.
Most airlines charge for bags, so check your airline carrier’s website. Also check their website for size and weight restrictions so you aren’t charged more for a bag that is too big or too heavy. Be mindful of the liquids you pack. No liquids and creams over 3 oz can go through TSA . They will either ask you to check the bag or throw it in the garbage.
Many airplanes are equipped with wi-fi, but if you want to use it you will have to purchase it. If you plan to keep your phone on to listen to music, take pictures, or just because, keep it on airplane mode. It will help preserve your battery. Above your seat is a light, air, and a call button in case you need to signal a flight attendant.

Nadeen from The Sophisticated Life Tips

I have been flying since I was a baby but as an adult I have several tips for newbies.
Book non stop flights whenever possible. I love to travel, but dislike flying. Therefore, I will book nonstop flights to avoid several take offs and landings. Also, it can be very stressful making connecting flights in large airports or if any of your flights are delayed or even cancelled!
Dress warm or bring a sweater, socks or a blanket in your carry on bag. Airplanes are freezing!
Airport food & drinks may be costly, but will still be less than purchasing on most airlines. Many do not offer food for purchase anymore and some airlines like Spirit charge you just for water. If the flight is delayed and you are grounded or rerouted, airlines do not serve food or drink so you need to be prepared. Also, be careful while using public wifi in cafes. Anyone could be lurking around, trying to steal data and work from anyone. That’s what some people are there for. If you want to find out how to use public wi-fi safely, do your research before you go or ask whoever is in charge of the cafe or building you are using the internet at. Best to be safe than sorry.

Tyra from BarrisTourista Tips

Wear airport-friendly shoes because, unless you are TSA PreCheck, you will have to remove your shoes (so spare yourself the mean looks from fellow travelers in line behind you).

Before you get on the plane, think about what best occupies you and keeps you calm. Download books, music, movies, or podcasts–on your iPad, not your phone or your battery will likely be dead by the time you reach your destination– before you get to the airport.

Tyra's Pillow & Eye Mask
Tyra’s Pillow & Eye Mask
 If you are a sleeper on the plane (like me), be sure to pack an eye mask and travel pillow, and try not to sit at the very back of the plane, where there is the most foot traffic from the flight attendants and the restrooms.

Samantha former Flight Attendant Tips

Make sure all needed travel documents are packed and ready in an easy and accessible place. Whatever baggage you are taking, make sure you have everything and not looking for something last-minute.

Have a snack so you aren’t starving throughout the check in process. Be conscious of the clothes you are wearing. It can make the process of gong through security easier and faster. Also be proactive and know a little about the departing airport and gate. This will keep you from running around the airport.

 Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you be on your way for your first or next flight! It seems like a lot, but it isn’t that bad. Just be patient and prepared. Thank you to Nadeen, Tyra, and Samantha for their great tips!

For those who do fly often what tips or tricks do you have? For those who haven’t flown or not as often what questions do you have?
4 The Foodie New York

Watawa in Astoria, NY

Queens, New York is known for its diversity and for the foodies, there is no shortage of diverse food in Astoria, Queens is known for having a plethora of places to eat. There are so many places to choose from that it could become very difficult to nail down one. One place that has become a favorite of mine is the Japanese restaurant, Watawa.

Abu Dhabi UAE

Visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Abu Dhabi is full of many great things to do and see. One thing that you must absolutely do when visiting is go to the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This Mosque is one of the few that allow non-Muslims inside. It is exactly as it’s name suggests, Grand!
Visiting the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque
Driving towards the Mosque you can’t help but notice it. It is huge and it’s beauty exudes itself. We took a taxi there. It is also very easy to get a taxi when you are ready to go. The Mosque is free to enter and walk around. The Grand Mosque as it is affectionately called, is open daily from 9am – 10pm. Friday’s mornings, tourist aren’t allowed in till 4:30pm. It is also closed on the first day of Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha.

Dress Code from the Sheikh Grand Mosque © 2015 HollyDayz
Dress Code from the Sheikh Grand Mosque © 2015 HollyDayz

Upon entering past the ropes I noticed a couple attempting to take a picture. The guard immediately stopped them. He told the man he had to take his arm from around his wife. I soon found out there is no hugging, kissing, or even a simple arm around the shoulder allowed there.
We then headed down an escalator and across a parking lot to get an abaya. Men can also get a kandourah, but it isn’t necessary. We had to have some form of ID in order to obtain these. They do not take passports, it can be a driver license or school ID. Your ID is slid into a book and they hand you a number. To obtain the abaya a woman looked me up and down and told me which rack to go to. I put on the abaya, which was very big. The hood to cover my hair, flopped over my head.
©2015 HollyDayz
©2015 HollyDayz

We headed back across the parking lot and up the escalator so we can begin walking around the beautiful architecture. There was so much beautiful to take in. There are walking guided tours that last 45-60 minutes, but we just walked around on our own.
Intricate Beauty ©2015 HollyDayz
Intricate Beauty ©2015 HollyDayz

Shelves for shoes outside prayer hall ©2015 HollyDayz
Shelves for shoes outside prayer hall ©2015 HollyDayz

We walked around taking in all the beauty. As we walked towards the main prayer hall people were sitting on benches. They were taking a break from walking, putting on, and taking off their shoes. In order to enter the main prayer hall shoes must be taken off and put on a shelf. The marble felt so cool under my feet, but we put on socks to walk around.
Beautiful carpet ©2015 HollyDayz
Beautiful carpet ©2015 HollyDayz

Inside the main prayer hall ©2015 HollyDayz
Inside the main prayer hall ©2015 HollyDayz

Walking inside the main prayer hall it is massive and can hold 7,000 of the 40,000 worshipers the Mosque can hold. The carpet is beautiful and is said to be the world’s largest carpet. There are also a handful of gorgeous colorful chandeliers. The chandeliers have millions of Swarovski Crystals. One of them is the second largest in a mosque and third largest in the world.
Chandelier ©2015 HollyDayz
Chandelier and 99 qualities ©2015 HollyDayz

There are marble columns all around that have mother of pearl inlaid in them. The 99 qualities of God (Allah) are on one wall written in Kufic. After walking around we decided to head back out to walk around some more. Putting our shoes on we continued to walk around. We saw some beautiful pools of water. Gorgeous next to the columns. There was also an area to wash your feet.
Beautiful columns and pool of water ©2015 HollyDayz
Beautiful columns and pool of water ©2015 HollyDayz

After walking around a bit longer we gave the abaya back and headed out. It was hard to walk away from The Grand Mosque. The intricate detail is amazing. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque truly is gorgeous and a must see when in Abu Dhabi!
Have you been to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque?