Wow, what an adventurous last two weeks! If you hadn’t heard, I was away on a trip to Europe with Lanai’s Travel Club from Hawaii. I took a group of people to Italy, Spain and France and we had an incredible time exploring the city streets, the various landmarks (like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Sistine Chapels, Cathedral Palma, Monaco, The Vatican, the Coliseum, Sorrento, Pompeii and so much more!) and the incredible sights of Europe. Oh and the food… soooo good. We found local spots that serve up the freshest, tastiest Italian, Spanish and French dishes, each one equally amazing.
Throughout this trip we had activities and tours sprinkled in, and it occurred to me how important it was to have our local guides giving us local experiences. Each tour we booked I made sure to assign a local guide to, because since running a travel company in Hawaii I know how important it is to maximize your time while on vacation. And using a local guide is one of the only ways to do this!
We were able to experience the cities, landmarks and eateries in a totally different way- from a resident’s perspective. Enjoying the things that locals do in Italy, Spain and France was a cool way to get to know each location, and these personalized tours made all the difference. I really realized that it’s all about keeping it local.
So often these days people opt for the bigger businesses that lack personal touch. I don’t know why either! Because you can find great companies and guides that are truly local and looking to show you a great time. Plus, keeping things local is important for the local economies. It’s so tough these days for the littler guy to make it in the big world, especially with all the cons out there.
Thankfully, we are seeing a small shift in this trend. Google just refreshed their algorithm and it is supposed to benefit small businesses, which is great news for me. As a small business owner myself, I was happy to hear this and even happier to see the results. I think we’re actually benefitting from it, as we’re moving up in the ranking and seeing more unique visitors per month. So, from Hawaii to France, be sure to keep it local and book with local guides, agents and companies. Maybe this way we can help equalize the playing field a bit. We all know small business help to bring growth and innovation to a community, so let’s keep these wheels turning and make a point to support local!
Now that I’m getting back into the swing of things, I also realize how tough it can be to overcome a vacation. For me, I traveled across the timeline, which has its own difficulties regarding sleep and time zones, but for those traveling to or from Hawaii, a trip somewhere within the US can still mean 8 or 10 hours on a plane. And time changes play a big role in the way you feel day-to-day during your trip. You still deal with jet lag and that can sometimes hold up enjoying your vacation.
The other thing I realized while traveling these long distances is the amount of germs your body is blasted with. Touch points in an airplane like the remote control or television are ridden with germs, along with items like water glasses and comforters in a hotel rooms. I don’t want to scare you, but just keep in mind that when traveling you should really stock up on the vitamin C or hand sanitizer. But don’t get so paranoid that you over use it. Our bodies are meant to resist a certain amount of infection, and can usually handle the flood of germs while traveling. Take precautionary measures like washing your hands more frequently and sucking on vitamin C drops, but don’t allow yourself to become over sensitized and keep your body from fighting things off on its own. We are fully equipped germ killing machines, so allow your body to do what it does best- keep you healthy.
In related news, a while back I told you about that GermFalcon that was unveiled in 2013 at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference in Los Angeles. It looks like an airplane snack cart with retractable arms that stretch out over the airplane seats. But built into the arms are ultraviolet lights, which the GermFalcon shines on the plane’s seats while it rolls down the aisle. The UVC light is designed to kill 99.9% of all surface germs. I still haven’t heard of any airlines committing to buying and using this GermFalcon device, but it sure would be a good idea! I’ll let you know when I hear more news about this!
All this talk about germs and jet lag is not meant to scare you. It’s meant to give you a heads up about the realities of travel, and how to take precautionary measures. Like I said before, stock up on the vitamin C and be sure to wash your hands a lot. Also, be mindful of the surface touch things and just be sure to be cautious. Like don’t touch your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth, since these are portals into your body and a likely way to contract foreign germs.
Since we’re on the topic of cleanliness, I also wanted to mention our new Luana Waikiki hotel condo. I’m really excited about it because we’ve put a lot of time into making it into a clean, modern and comfortable home away from home.
When we first purchased the condo, we realized that while the sofa bed looked beautiful and restful, it had actually lost all of its firmness. So we bought a brand new one, along with new bedding, pillows and comforters, and totally decked the place out. Luana Waikiki is like our own hotel room, and is a place I would want to stay if I were traveling or on vacation. It’s a little slice of paradise and I invite you to check it out on our website under ‘Luana Luxury Studio Exclusive’.