Monday, November 23, 2009

Adieu, pour maintenant

You know what I'm going to have on my gravestone?
"She did it the hard way."
~Bette Davis

Well, lovelies, it has been a joyous year of sharing my adventures and jet set tips with you. Fortunately for me, business is booming and my travel calendar is expanding. If all goes well, I will be transitioning from jet-setter-in-training to Official Jet Set Diva in the coming months. (Cross your fingers!)

For now, I must bid you farewell so that I can focus all of my efforts on building my empire and globetrotting across this amazing planet. Thanks for reading, ranting and raving with me.

Au revoir,


Friday, November 20, 2009

JSTD: Talk to the community

Find and share firsthand recommendations of the best things to do, places to eat and experiences to have at nextstop.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Thursday, November 19, 2009

JSTD: Advance planning

Planning your next getaway can be even more fun with Duffle Up. This visual trip planner lets you clip and organize ideas and notes from the web onto a virtual dashboard. You can even share your growing itinerary with friends.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

JSTD: Help is on the way

Hopefully, you are never, ever the victim of a crime during your travels. If something unfortunate does occur, you must contact the local police to report the crime. You should also call the nearest U.S. embassy, consulate or consular agency for assistance. And, be sure to get a copy of the police report.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

JSTD: Roll with it

To fit more clothes into your luggage, try rolling each item with tissue paper (like the kind used in store displays and store gift-wrapping). Also, when you try this, be careful of your luggage's weight to avoid extra fees at the airport.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Monday, November 16, 2009

JSTD: Traveling with gifts

Avoid wrapping gifts before you travel because a TSA agent might make you unwrap them to confirm the contents. (Imagine the wasted time, gift wrap and tape!)

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Giveaway winner for the Travel Chic Silver Luggage Tag & Handle Wrap

Out of 71 valid entries, selected #43 which makes Smita the winner of last week's giveaway!

Smita, be sure to send me your contact info (to ava AT avapierce DOT com) by Wednesday, November 18, 2009 @ 11:59 p.m. ET to collect your prize.

Travel Chic, you and your fantastic products are awesome! Thanks for sponsoring the giveaway.

Also, major thanks go to everyone who entered the contest. I really appreciate your comments and tweets.


Friday, November 13, 2009

JSTD: Customs restrictions

There are lots of restrictions about the kinds of items that you can take to and from most countries. To avoid any airport hassles, review the U.S. Customs and Border Protection booklet "Know Before You Go: Regulations for International Travel by U.S. Residents".

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Thursday, November 12, 2009

JSTD: Divide and conquer

Never keep all of your valuables together, including cash, credit cards, jewelry, electronics, etc. That way, on the off chance that you lose your purse or one piece of your luggage, you're not left without cash, ID and some of your most important possessions.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

JSTD: Take your meds

Although I don't have any allergies or other medical issues that require me to take prescribed medication, I do tend to carry a small container of my daily vitamins and over-the-counter pain medication (for headaches and such) whenever I travel. Luckily, most grocery stores and drugstores sell travel-sized packets. If you have prescribed medication for a pre-existing condition, it's a good idea to travel with a letter from your doctor which describes your condition and the related medication. That way, you don't run into trouble when crossing international borders. You should also travel with your meds in their original, clearly-labeled container.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

JSTD: Craft your own personal travel guide @

Build a free personal travel guide with restaurants, shopping areas, nightclubs, things to see, art museums and more at You can also find and book hotels at discounted rates. Destinations include most of the major metro cities in the world, like Beijing, Dublin, Marrakech, Miami, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Vienna.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Gift ideas for jet-setters-in-training

Today's Annoyance: Thoughtless re-gifting
Mantra of the Day: Any time is a good time for gift-giving.

No, the holidays aren't here just yet, and my birthday's in January. So, why do you ask, would I post a list of gifts now? Because I like to get a jump start on things, that's why. Plus, some of my fellow globetrotters will undoubtedly have birthdays or other special reasons to celebrate coming up soon. (Just for the record, I love surprises year-round so if you're in a gift-giving mood...)

Many of the things on the following list are things that I want. But, I'm kinda guessing that any jet-setter-in-training will likely treasure similar goodies. You're always welcome to add a comment with your preferred gift item(s).

Beyond the usual travel pillows, blankets, voltage converters and universal plug adapters, there's always:

1. A Zagat subscription - For less than $25, your jet set pal can have online access for a whole year to more than 40,000 reviews and ratings for restaurants, hotels and entertainment attractions around the world.

2. An e-book reader - This will definitely lighten the load from all those novels and magazines that we travelers tend to carry. Luckily, there are lots of options nowadays from Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Samsung and others.

3. An iTunes gift card - Remember, I like my sounds.

4. WiFi finder - These typically inexpensive little gadgets can help even the least tech-smart traveler find a wireless hot spot without booting up their computer.

5. Um, travel anyone? - If your loved one tends to fly often and uses one airline or hotel chain fairly regularly, why not buy them some mileage or an airline or hotel gift card?

Aside from these gifts, peruse the sites of any of my blog's giveaway sponsors and you're sure to find something great to make your friend's jet set life a bit easier.

[IMAGE: Courtesy of Getty Images]

Monday, November 9, 2009

JSTD: Mail forward

What to do with your mail while you're away? You always have the option of having a friend or neighbor collect your mail. Also, your local post office can hold your mail until you return from your trip (up to 30 days). If you're planning to go on an extended trip (more than 1 month), you can try to have your mail forwarded to you at your hotel or overseas residence, or via the overseas office of your bank or credit card company. (You must call to see if your bank or credit card company offers this service.) Post offices in some countries will hold mail for travelers. Finally, the embassy of your destination country may offer mail processing and delivery services.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


New giveaway: Travel Chic Silver Luggage Tag & Handle Wrap

No one likes the inevitable task of trying to claim baggage in a sea of boxes, bags and similarly-shaped pieces of luggage. What better way to dress up your luggage and make it stand out from the crowd than to add some of Travel Chic's luggage accessories!

A trip to Paris inspired husband and wife team Michael and Kay Ponicall to create a distinguished line of luggage taps, handle wraps, tassels, scarves and keychains. Their products are functional and fabulous at the same time; you couldn't possibly ask for more. They even have a fun kids collection. And as fabulous as their products are, can you believe that everything is under $30?

Travel Chic is sponsoring this week's giveaway with a Silver Luggage Set (shown above), which includes a leather luggage tag, a reversible denim/silver handle wrap and a Travel Chic airplane keychain.

Enter for a chance to win!!

You have 3 different ways to enter (max entries = 3):

1. 1 entry for leaving a comment below, naming your fave Travel Chic product.

2. 1 entry for sending a tweet about the giveaway on Twitter. Be sure to reference my Twitter account - @avapierce - in your announcement so that you receive an entry.

3. 1 entry for leaving a relevant comment on any of my other blog posts. (Spam and single-word comments don't count. As usual, comments posted before today don't count.)

The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada and ends on Friday, November 13, 2009.

One winner will be selected using and will be announced on my blog and via Twitter on Monday, November 16.

The winner must contact me by e-mail (ava AT avapierce DOT com) within three days of the announcement to claim their prize. If the winner does not claim their prize within that time period, another name will immediately be drawn for the prize.

E-mail me with any questions: ava AT avapierce DOT com.


Friday, November 6, 2009

JSTD: Learn to fly without fear

Do you have dreams of becoming a jet-setter but fear flying? That's not good. No worries though; there are lots of "fear of flying" strategies and courses that will help, including SOAR, Fear of Flying Self-Help Course and Virgin Atlantic's newly-released, inexpensive iPhone app. A recent USA Today article mentions several airlines and airports that fear of flying courses.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Travel stuff to avoid

Today's Annoyance: Inept management
Mantra of the Day: There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror. - Orson Welles

OK, so you know how I'm always sharing my favorite things and travel tips? As one would expect, there are lots of things that you should avoid while you're traveling.

Air India, for one, couldn't be farther from my list of faves. A travel seat-mate a few trips ago mentioned how awful the airplanes and service can be (roaches, rats, awful smells, etc.). Then, wouldn't you know it, I read this article in the New York Times about how some Air India pilots flight attendants got into a fight during a flight. Wow! It's bad enough dealing with rude passengers, people snoring, crying babies, chatty seat-mates and cramped quarters. I can even handle surly flight attendants...but, fighting pilots and flight attendants!?! That's taking things in the wrong direction, people! Is anyone surprised that the airline is expected to lose more than $1 billion this year?

For more travel vendors, places and experiences to avoid, check out The Titanic Awards. Reading this blog makes me thank my lucky stars for my relatively flawless travel adventures.

Wishing you the most fabulous travels possible,


Thursday, November 5, 2009

JSTD: Tourism bureaus

Tourism bureaus are awesome resources before and during your trip. Many can offer hotel suggestions, maps, lists of great local restaurants and things to see, plus lots of discounts. Find them at the Tourism Offices Worldwide Directory.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


The ultimate travel experience...outer space

Today's Annoyance: That we can travel to space yet not solve Earth's traffic problems
Mantra of the Day: In this unbelievable universe in which we live there are no absolutes. - Pearl Buck

Beginning in 2012, you'll be able to hitch your wagon to a star...or, at least, you'll be closer to do it than you are now. That's when Galactic Suite will begin accepting reservations for its space resort. For you jet setters who are bored of traversing our tiny little planet, now there's space tourism.

You'll spend two weeks on a tropical island for the astronaut training program, then you'll be hurled into outer space, traveling at 28,000 kilometers per hour. Just think, you'll orbit the Earth 15 times a day so, you'll get to see the sun rise every 45 minutes! (I'm wondering what kind of serious jet lag results from this endeavor.)

Sounds scary and super-cool at the same time!

[IMAGE: Courtesy of bornrich]

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

JSTD: Live to eat, eat to live

Find cultural recipes as well as restaurant and food shopping recommendations for locations around the world @ Use their forums to share your travel finds, too.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Ava's Faves: Custom-made luxuries

Today's Annoyance: Forgetting to adjust the clocks after daylight savings time
Mantra of the Day: It is impossible to overdo luxury. - French proverb

I'm a big fan of custom-made products, especially if they're super luxurious. A few weeks ago, I listed a few websites where you can create your own clothing, accessories and home goods. I recently found a few sites where you can kick things up a notch and customize some of your more fabulous "necessities":

  • Anna Lunna is an online atelier for some of the most fabulous custom-designed boots that I've ever seen. You choose your boot style, heel height, leather type and color. Once you place your order, they send you a measurement kit and Voila! - six weeks later, you are your Anna Lunnas will be inseparable.
  • Blue Nile gives you the chance to custom-design your new best friend - diamond jewelry, that is. How fab will you feel wearing an extra special ring, earrings and pendant? And, it only takes a couple of days between order and delivery.
  • Maison Guerlain will create your very own fragrance. You even get to name it and personalize the bottle! (Even the website is dripping with luxuriousness.)
Can you imagine receiving any of these items as gifts? (not-so-subtle hint implied)

Peace, love and luxury,

[IMAGE: Courtesy of Anna Lunna]

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

JSTD: Recharge your gadgets on-the-go

So many gadgets, so few outlets. What's a jet-setter-in-training to do? Get a universal charger, that's what. IonHub, Callpod, PowerTraveller, Solio (a solar-powered charger!), and BlueLounge offer portable chargers that should definitely fit your budget and carry-on.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Safety pins are the newest fad accessory?

Today's Annoyance: The dwindling standards of our educational system
Mantra of the Day: We wore our safety pins on the inside of our clothes. - Tina Weymouth

Here I was thinking that safety pins were cool as a resource to quickly repair tears, fallen hemlines and other such wardrobe malfunctions. Little did I know that they don't need to be carefully hidden while they're at work. I can now wear them boldly and I can even bling them out a bit:

Vivienne Westwood safety pin necklace $1,540

It has happened with zippers, why not safety pins? I get a shiver just thinking about it velcro next?

[IMAGES: Courtesy of E! Online, Refinery29]

Monday, November 2, 2009

JSTD: Keep your jewelry straight

Oh what a tangled mess we create when we effortlessly toss our jewelry into our luggage! Avoid this by investing in a jewelry case. LuggagePoint and eBags carry a wide assortment of travel cases for our precious valuables.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Giveaway winner for the Night + Day Cool Cities Travel Guides

Heather M., guess what? selected #1 so, you're this week's giveaway winner! Send me your contact info (to ava AT avapierce DOT com) by Wednesday, November 4, 2009 @ 11:59 p.m. ET.

Major gratitude to Pulse Guides for sponsoring the giveaway! And, of course, big thanks to all of you for participating.

Best wishes for a week of nothing less than absolute fabulousness!

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