10 Surprisingly Free Airline Perks

Every day Smarter Travel sends me emails with all kinds of great travel info.

This one was in my inbox today, and the timing could not be better because not only am I booking all my flights for my 2017 Glam Tours right now, but my travelers are booking their flights too! One of them just got an amazing deal on Turkish Airlines, and she is going to be super excited to see her airline on this list.

The way I see it we get to choose who we fly, and with so many airlines scaling back right now and making your cramped travel experience worse, why not put your hard earned dollars with an airline who wants to make you feel special?

The following article was written by Christine Sarkis

10 Surprisingly Free Airline Perks

EVA airlines Hello Kitty

Surprise! We lost your luggage. Surprise! Your tray table is broken. While it seems like most airline surprises end in disappointment, a few bold airlines are delighting passengers every day with pleasing perks to make flying just a little better. Some—like traditional sweets on Turkish Airlines and lounge access on Porter Airlines—are available regardless of where you sit in the plane. Others—aromatherapy on ANA, for instance, or Birchbox goodie bags on JetBlue—are reserved for passengers in premium seats.

Turkish Airlines: Candlelit Meals and Turkish Delights

Turkish Airlines: Candlelit Meals and Turkish Delights

Intercontinental flights bring sweet treats to all passengers on Turkish Airlines. Traditional sweet, sticky Turkish delight candies are part of the in-flight experience. For business-class passengers, the small indulgences continue with candlelit meals and Turkish coffee. Electric candles glow within tiny luminarias that cast a soft, romantic light on meals provided by the airline’s “flying chefs.”

EVA Airways: Hello Kitty Everything

EVA Airways: Hello Kitty Everything

EVA has taken the go-big-or-go-home advice to heart with its Hello Kitty Jets. These six jets offer an all-in Hello Kitty experience that starts at check-in with Hello Kitty boarding passes and continues throughout the flight with themed music, headrest covers, paper cups, utensils, soap, meals, and ice cream. Flight attendants even wear Hello Kitty aprons. And while these flights are popular with families, the appeal goes beyond kids. According to Mr. K.W. Nieh at EVA, people of all ages book the Hello Kitty Jet flights. Want to see more pictures? So did we, so we compiled more of our favorite images into this photo tour.

Emirates: Toys for Kids

Emirates: Toys for Kids

Kids will find plenty of entertaining company aboard Emirates flights. The airline’s “Fly with Me Monsters” collection includes blanket buddies wrapped in soft fleece blankets, seat-belt critters (worn on the seat belt to make buckling up more fun), and magnetic sketching toys. Kids can choose one of four monster characters—Jimbob, Tezz, Camus, and Wagga—each with its own interests (including one who loves to take selfies).

Singapore Airlines: 3-D Games and Learning Apps

Singapore Airlines: 3-D Games and Learning Apps

On select flights, Singapore Airlines offers entertainment that you can almost reach out and touch. Its range of video games includes 3-D and multiplayer games such as ThinkTanks. Passengers can also brush up on language skills with a Berlitz Word Traveler language-learning tool, learn about local customs with the b-Wise CultureQuest app, or listen to business-book digests using Soundview Executive Book Summaries.

ANA: Aromatherapy Cards

ANA: Aromatherapy Cards

Deep breathing is one of the keys to a comfortable flight. And on ANA, each inhalation comes with a little something extra for business- and first-class passengers. The airline offers two aromatherapy cards that passengers can sniff or simply tuck into a pocket for a more subtle scent. The “Relax” card’s lavender blend is used for sleep support, while the “Refresh” card helps to shake off end-of-flight grogginess and get you ready for your destination.

Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance. Get a free quote.



Porter Airlines: Lounges for Everyone

Porter Airlines: Lounges for Everyone

Lounge access for every passenger: That’s what sets Canada’s Porter Airlines apart. With free newspapers, Wi-Fi, and complimentary Starbucks coffee, Tazo teas, juices, sodas, and snacks, the airline makes waiting for a flight very nearly pleasant. Lounges in Toronto, Ottawa, and Newark feature comfortable seating, work spaces, charging areas, and did we mention free snacks?

Virgin Atlantic: In-Flight Bars

Virgin Atlantic: In-Flight Bars

Fighting DVT has never looked so good. Upper-class passengers on Virgin Atlantic flights can stretch their legs at the onboard bar while sipping cocktails at 35,000 feet. The bar, which is separate from the cabin, can accommodate up to eight passengers at a time. Rotating signature drinks share the menu with Lanson Black Label Champagne, Aberfeldy 12-year-old single-malt whisky, and a range of other options.

JetBlue: Birchbox for Mint

JetBlue: Birchbox for Mint

Mint, JetBlue’s new premium class, offers more than just lie-flat seats and full-bottle wine service. It has partnered with Birchbox for its amenities kits. Men’s and women’s kits are filled with travel-friendly items that change regularly. The current lineup includes Benefit Cosmetics mascara, Ernest Supplies Cooling Shave Cream, and The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar. Each kit also comes with a sweet treat as a parting gift.

Qantas: Preordered Meals

Qantas: Preordered Meals

Ordering ahead: It’s the perfect way to make sure the flight attendant doesn’t run out of your preferred meal just before reaching you. On many international flights, Qantas offers premium-economy and business-class passengers the option to browse a menu and order items seven days to 12 hours in advance of flights, using its Q-Eat system.

Hawaiian Airlines: Island Specialties

Hawaiian Airlines: Island Specialties

Vacation starts just after takeoff on Hawaiian Airlines flights. The airline’s focus on Hawaiian foods extends to its complementary offerings. On North America-to-Hawaii flights departing before 10 a.m., passengers are offered free mai tais. There’s also POG (passion fruit-orange-guava juice), Koloa Breeze rum punch, AlohaMacs chocolate, and guava cookies. More Hawaiian specialties (toffee-coated macadamia nuts, local popcorn, and coconut cookies) are available for purchase.

airline perks

If you liked this article, read more just like it at Smarter Travel

Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

Puglia beaches

From our apartment tot he beach in Puglia, on the Glam Italia Tour September 2016

This post contains affiliate links

You’ve probably been working on your summer travel plans already, or maybe just thinking about them. I’m busy putting together this year’s Glam Italia Tours, and today will be sending all my travelers an email about buying Travel Insurance.

When you are traveling internationally it is essential that you buy Travel Insurance.

I always buy travel insurance the same day that I buy my flights. In the time between buying your flights and boarding your plane anything can happen. You can get sick, you could break your leg, you could have a family emergency – there is and endless list of possibilities of things that could potentially prevent you from getting on that plane.

Check out the Top Ten reasons why people buy Travel Insurance and see if it is right for you.

While you are en route to your final destination things can happen. Your luggage might go on it’s own vacation to a different part of the world, you may get stuck in an airport somewhere in between home and your final destination, or you might get sick and not be able to board your next flight.

While you are away there are all kinds of things that could go sideways – everything from not having your luggage, getting robbed, getting sick, breaking a leg. Hopefully nothing will go wrong while you are traveling, but you have to be prepared in the event that it does.

I once caught an upper respiratory infection on a flight to Australia, and got so sick that I wasn’t going to be able to fly home. I ended up getting excellent medical care and was cleared to travel, but without Travel Insurance it could have been financially catastrophic.

We don’t plan on anything going wrong when we travel, but it is a good idea to be prepared just in case.

Insure your Cruise with Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance. Get a free quote.

For years now I have been using Allianz Travel Insurance for all my international travel. There are plenty of travel insurance companies to choose from, and you do need to do your due diligence when researching your policy. I buy the Allianz Classic Plan, which covers me for lost/damaged/delayed luggage, medical (including transport back home with a nurse if needed), trip cancellation, trip interruption, and several other things.

You do need to read the small print about pre-existing medical conditions on any policy you buy. If you have a medical condition you need to find a policy that covers it, and make sure the company tells you in writing how they will deal with your condition should anything go wrong before you leave or while you are away.

One of my travelers last year didn’t buy her travel insurance quickly enough. She had an asthma attack that hospitalized her and prevented her from traveling, but couldn’t use her insurance to cover the cost of her airline ticket because the attack happened inside the 14 day window that her insurance company had between purchase and ability to claim. Had she purchased her travel insurance more quickly she would have been refunded all her costs except for the deductible.

Make sure you understand what is covered and what is not covered on any travel insurance policy you buy. Compare policies and make sure you have adequate coverage. Find out if your insurance company has global customer support and ask them what you have to do if something does go wrong. Allianz tells me to call them first and let them help me get the right help.

Get a Free 10-Day Look with Allianz Global Assistance, the world leader in travel insurance. Get a free quote now.

We don’t plan on anything going wrong when we travel, and hopefully will never have to use our travel insurance, but it is essential to have a good travel policy anyway.

Allianz Travel Insurance


Where To Find 9 Of The Best Views In Paris



When I was getting ready to move from London I had to choose between moving to New York and moving to Paris.

At the time Paris was my favorite city in the world and I was scared that if I moved there it would lose it’s magic and just become some city that I was living in, so I chose New York. Which actually became Los Angeles. I had such a blast living there, it was a huge career move, my life in L.A. was larger than life, and I miss it every single day.
But lately I keep wondering what my life would have looked like had I chosen Paris. In fact I have been obsessing about it. Did I make the right choice?

I was thinking about it this morning when I opened my email, and there was the following post from World Of Wanderlust (via Bloglovin). And all day I have thought about Paris….

9 Of The Best Views In Paris

Nothing beats a panoramic view of a city, especially one as beautiful as Paris. Seeing a city from above allows you to immediately gain perspective and get your bearings, as well as be inspired by the beautiful cityscape. Fortunately in Paris, you can climb most of the famous monuments and the best thing is that each of them offer an entirely different vantage point. Thus, we’ve listed the most iconic monuments, rooftop terraces and restaurants to help you find the best views in Paris.

Best views in Paris


Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris


As one of Paris’ most iconic hotels, you really can’t get a better room view than those on offer at the Hotel Plaza Athénée. The entire facade of the hotel is covered in lush greenery and red flowers, making this an even more magical sight with the glorious Eiffel Tower as a backdrop!



Visiting Paris? Find Deals, Compare Rates, and Read Hotel Reviews on TripAdvisor





Shangri la – La Rooftop Lounge

If spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower are what you’re after, then this is where you must go. This 5* luxury hotel opens its terrace to the public between the hours of 4pm to 11.30pm during the summer, giving you access to one of the absolute best views in Paris without the per-night price tag. Do be prepared to dig deep into your pockets for drinks, however the view makes the pricy cocktails worth every penny. Hotel Shangri La Paris (Photo via Shangri-La)


 Maison Blanche taken from their website

Maison Blanche

The chic and trendy restaurant Maison Blanche is located on the exclusive Avenue Montaigne, one of the most expensive shopping streets in Paris. The restaurant is as exclusive as the road it lies on, reservations are needed but if you nab a table you won’t be disappointed. The all-white restaurant has large glass panels and an outdoor terrace with views towards the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysée. On Saturdays the upper floor turns into a nightclub for those who want to party with a view over the Paris skyline. (Photo via Maison Blanche)




Montparnasse via Where Kate Resides




It is said that the best view over Paris is from atop the Montparnasse tower, the reason being that when you’re at the top you can’t see the modern monstrosity of the building itself. The second reason being that it offers one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the kind of shot you see on postcards. It also boasts the fastest lift in Europe so an additional bonus is not having to climb hundreds of stairs to appreciate the views but instead reaching the 56th floor in 38 seconds! (Photo via Where Kate Resides)


Air France Best Offers & Promotions


Best Views in Paris | World of Wanderlust


Arc de Triomphe


Standing at the top of the Arc de Triomphe offers a spectacular view of Paris. The twelve avenues stretch out from the roundabout below offering a dizzying view of the city and a birds eye view of the most famous avenue in Paris: the Champs Elysées.  But the real reason this view is so good? It offers an unparalleled panorama of the Eiffel Tower which stands proudly above the Parisian rooftops.



Hotel Terass

This luxury hotel located in Montmartre opens its terrace as a restaurant for lunch and dinner. The verdant and leafy terrace provides the most romantic setting for dinner, only heightened by the breathtaking view over the city of lights with the Eiffel Tower in the distance. 

Hotel Terass Montmartre (Photo via Hotel Terass”)



Le Perchoir by Where Kate Resides



Le Perchoir

Everyone loves a good rooftop bar. What’s not to love about enjoying a chilled glass of rosé or an expertly crafted cocktail whilst taking in a spectacular view? Paris doesn’t have very many rooftop bars like hip and happening New York does, so Parisians flock in large numbers to the select few rooftop bars in the city. Le Perchoir is one of the trendiest in Paris attracting long queues but offering killer views to boot. (Photo via Where Kate Resides)


Ciel de Paris photo from their website



Ciel de Paris

Literally translated as Paris’ sky, this dizzyingly high restaurant and bar offers a specular view of the Paris skyline, as its name implies. Located on the 56th floor of the Montparnasse tower, the Ciel de Paris doesn’t only house a gourmet restaurant but also a chic champagne bar. (Photo via Ciel de Paris)



Printemps terrace | Best Views in Paris



Two of the biggest department stores in Paris, Lafayette and Printemps, offer terraces with beautiful views over Paris. The best part is that climbing to the top of them is entirely free. You come face to face with magnificent Opéra Garnier and get a real sense of the buzz of the city below.


The original post on World Of Wanderlust has 15 Of The Best Views In Paris. I’ve shown you 9 of them to see the rest you will need to check out the original post, linked here




Great fares to Europe and beyond.