The Corliss Group Tour Packages Tips on How to keep your food safe while traveling

Tips to keep your food safe while traveling

What makes summer fun – the picnics, the cookouts, the family reunions, the road trips, the beach vacations – often involves traveling with food.

It’s a challenge to keep food safe from pesky bacteria that can make people sick and choose dishes that provide maximum flavor.

We gathered advice from experts well-versed in the art of traveling with food: DeeDee Stovel, a former caterer from Northern California who wrote “Picnic: 125 Recipes with 29 Seasonal Menus,” and two North Carolina authors who have written tailgating cookbooks, Debbie Moose of Raleigh, author of “Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home,” and Taylor Mathis of Charlotte, author of “The Southern Tailgating Cookbook.”

Preparing

- Follow sanitary practices when preparing food. Wash hands before handling ingredients, especially raw meat. Don’t cut raw meat and vegetables on the same cutting board.

- Choose ingredients that are safer to eat outdoors in hot weather. Skip mayonnaise-based dressings for salads; try dressings with oil and vinegar or some other acid. Avoid dips and spreads that are heavy on dairy products, such as cream cheese or heavy cream; serve salsa instead.

- Chill food thoroughly before packing it in a cooler. Stovel said, “Don’t cool (food) in the cooler.”

Packing

- Cold food needs to be kept at 40 degrees or below to prevent bacterial growth. The key, Moose said, is “ice and more ice and then get some more ice.” If you don’t want to deal with coolers filled with water at outings’ end, Stovel offers this advice: Fill clean, recycled milk containers with water, leaving some space at the top for ice to expand. Freeze until solid. Use those blocks of ice to keep food cold.

- Keep raw meat separate from other foods to prevent cross-contamination. Pack burger patties, marinated chicken or other raw meat in a separate cooler, and label it as being used for that purpose. The last thing you want, Moose said, is someone grabbing a cup of ice from the cooler that held raw meat.

- Keep ice for drinks and even beverages in a separate, labeled cooler. If more ice is needed to keep food cold, raid the beverage cooler. “If the choice is between keeping soda cold and keeping raw meat cold,” Moose said, “nobody has died from drinking a warm soda, so act accordingly.”

- Consider investing in equipment such as insulated bags to tote food to outings and to wrap around casserole dishes. Reusable ice packs come in many shapes and sizes: small bags, large blocks, can coolers, flexible blankets and more. Retailers also sell electric coolers that can plug into a car’s outlet or cigarette lighter; prices range based on size from $60 to $150. About the latter, Stovel said, “we got this when we were traveling across the country.”

Serving

- Leave food in the cooler until ready to serve. Once food is served, it should sit out no longer than 2 hours, or 1 hour if temperatures are above 90 degrees. “Pay attention to what the weather is going to be like,” Mathis said. And keep track of the time.

- Keep hand sanitizer and disposable gloves on hand, especially if you are handling raw meat to grill. “You don’t have the sink to wash your hands,” Moose said.

- Some ingredients need to wait until the last minute: Slice tomatoes to top burgers or salads. Wait to toss salads with dressings until right before serving. “I like to dress salads on site so things don’t get soggy,” Mathis said. Another tip: Pack dressing in a recycled water bottle or a Mason jar.

- Put prepared foods on ice to serve. Mathis recommends using sets of nesting bowls for this purpose: Place the food in the smaller bowl and set it inside a large bowl of ice. Other ideas: Use disposable lasagna pans filled with ice, or even a large black trash bag filled with ice, nestled around the food container. “It’s not going to win any decorating awards, but it will do the job,” Moose said.

- If you do a lot of outdoor entertaining, consider investing in some insulated serving bowls that are placed in the freezer beforehand; prices range from $55 to $130.

- Enjoy yourself. “Just have fun picnicking,” Stovel said. “I think it’s one of the best ways to entertain. The food is all prepared, and you just have to bring it, spread it out and the party’s on.”

5 Helpful Travel Tips for the Wandering Vegetarian by the Corliss Group Tour Packages Tips

Food + Mouth = Survival. Simple math…you’d think.

But the task of feeding yourself can seem like Mission: Impossible once you step off the continent. Language, culture and availability make finding animal-free nosh a massive ordeal that can swallow up a whole afternoon of your hard-earned vacation/travel time. And when your blood sugar starts to dip, after a long bus ride or a day traipsing around some ruins, the difficulty and frustration involved in finding vegetarian food can wreck your day.

Maintaining an alternative food lifestyle while traveling in countries that do not understand or recognize vegetarianism as the moral/ethical/healthful imperative that it is to you, will always be a challenge. But there are ways to make it easier.

After globe-trotting across every continent, 30+ countries, I’ve developed a few strategies to help keep my lean, mean, vegetarian machine meat-free on the hoof.

Research

Going to Egypt? Friggin’ Google “vegetarian Egyptian food!” Of course you could probably eat pizza and french fries for every meal and have a (very dull) vegetarian holiday but the whole point is to sample the local flavour. A little research will go a long way and you won’t miss culinary gems like kosheri (Egypt’s delicious, and vegetarian, ode to carbohydrates).

Pack your own seasoning

The sad truth is that to stay veggie in certain countries and regions you may end up eating some boring, bland and tasteless food. On a three month trip to South America my diet mostly consisted of boiled rice, over-fried eggs and a dusting of limp vegetables. Do yourself a favour and make sure you have some salt and pepper stashed in your bag, hot sauce or spices can also help relieve the ennui of repetition.

Self-cater

Hunting for a decent place to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day is stressful. Is the kitchen clean? Is there anything on the menu I can order? Take the guesswork and anxiety out of eating by hitting a local market. A decent veggie picnic can be cobbled together in this way, and usually for a lot cheaper than eating at a restaurant. Make sure to pack a Swiss Army knife for slicing fruit and veg, and (most importantly) opening bottles of wine.

Bring an arsenal of vitamins

To keep your veggie faith burning bright while traveling, you’ll most likely be eating a limited and repetitive diet (cheese sandwiches again? Yay). As a result it’s possible you could become deficient in some vitamins and nutrients that you’d get from your normal, varied, vegetarian diet. Taking a multivitamin and an iron supplement while you travel can fill in the nutritional gaps, and also help you avoid the fatigue that is associated with some vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Because really, being tired when you’re on vacation is a drag.

Accept

OK, I’m a veggie, you’re a veggie, but most of the world gets down with meat products. Food is history, it’s culture. In short it embodies many of the reasons we travel in the first place. And for that reason I propose that once in a while it’s OK to stray from the vegetarian path. It’s OK to nibble blood sausage fresh from a market stall in rural France, slurp authentic pho in Vietnam or taste Argentina’s famous beef. It’s more than just food, it’s identity.

It’s also a good idea to keep some snacks on you at all times, in case you get stranded in a locale where the food options are limited. Keeping yourself fed and healthy while you’re traveling is more important than it is at home. Thieves and scammers are always on the lookout for people who are vulnerable. And when your blood sugar is in the toilet, your decision making is not at its best. You think the bad guys don’t notice but it’s their job to notice, and they’ll take advantage of your food deprived, shadow-of-a-self and con you.

So, when gearing up for your next international adventure (or your first one) get planning, get packing and get real, because the richness that travel adds to your life and to your soul is well worth a little fish sauce entering your temple.

Happy (healthy) travels.

The Corliss Group Voyage Online tips for women travelers

If there were a Girl Scout badge for travel, you’d surely earn it after using these tips.

Name: “101 Tips for Women Travelers E-book,” oattravel.com/101tips

Available: Interactive flipbook; .pdf for laptop or personal computers;. epub for iPad (with iBooks), Sony Reader and all other non-Kindle e-book readers;. mobi for Amazon Kindle devices.

What it does: This free, downloadable e-book by Overseas Adventure Travel, a company geared toward travelers 50 and older, is chockablock with practical tips to help you become a smarter, better-prepared traveler. The e-book is written for women by experienced female travelers, but any traveler, no matter the gender or age, will be savvier for reading it.

What’s hot: Many of the tips were new to me. Becki from Tennessee said, “Leave your money belt out until you get past security. New scanning machines at airport security can pick up on a money belt as something hidden beneath your clothing, resulting in your being pulled out for a pat-down and additional questioning.”

I especially appreciated the appendix with digital resources, clothing sizes around the world and the Bandanarama section: 25 uses for a scarf.

What’s not: I tested both the interactive flipbook and the epub on my iPad 3, and the flipbook was a smoother experience. A case in point: On the flipbook, I could look at the table of contents and touch the chapter I wanted to view, and it would jump to that page. In the epub on iBooks, I had to scroll through the pages to skip to, say, Chapter 9.

The Corliss Group Voyage Summer Travel Tips

1. Start out with a checklist. Even a person with a great memory has multiple things to remember when planning for a trip.

2. Identify your suitcase. Purchase travel size toiletries and pack a bag with items designated for travel use only.

3. Create separate travel bags. Purchase travel size toiletries and pack a bag with items designated for travel use only.

4. Designate a travel packing area a week prior to your flight. Choose a location in your home where you can collect travel items that you plan to take on the upcoming trip.

5. Purchase magazines at the airport. While it’s easy to grab a few magazines in the checkout line at the grocery store, chances are you will end up reading them before your trip.

6. Bring an extra set of reading glasses, cell charger, and ear buds. Regardless of how careful I am, I always lose at least one of these per trip.

7. Don’t get caught without important phone numbers. I was recently delayed at an airport due to a fire in the control tower.

8. The name on the reservation and identification should match exactly. Your name may be Charles but you go by your middle name, David, and it can be both confusing and detrimental should you be questioned or challenged to get out of line to reconcile the discrepancy in names.

9. For special requests, alert the airline in advance. If you need a wheelchair, have a child with a severe allergy or require a certain seat, it’s best to let the airline know when you make the reservation in order for proper arrangements to be made.

10. Fly nonstop whenever possible. A direct flight can land at other airports along the way, allowing some passengers to exit while others board the flight en route to a final destination.

The Corliss Group Voyage Hong Kong, Top deals: Cruise with Shannan Ponton or Tim Webster, on Russian rivers or Melbourne’s biggest ever cruise ship

 

BRAD Crouch has sought out the week’s best cruise specials. These fabulous deals are sure to be snapped up fast.

HONG KONG PLUS

CRUISE from Hong Kong to Sydney with stops in Vietnam, Singapore and the Top End aboard the 1990-guest Sun Princess. The package starts with a flight to Hong Kong and a night at the Citadines Ashley Hotel, followed by the 17-night cruise visiting Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Darwin and Port Douglas before finishing in Sydney. The package departs on October 11 and is priced from $2499 a person, twin share.

LUXURIOUS RUSSIA

APT will introduce a newly refurbished Russian river cruise ship next year, which it promises is the most luxurious vessel to grace Russia’s waterways, with features such as five dining options and a pool with two hot tubs. APT is offering river cruises aboard the Anastasia as part of several itineraries for 2015, including the 14-day Russian Waterways from Moscow to St Petersburg via the Volga, Svir and Neva rivers. Priced from $7795 a person, twin share, highlights include sightseeing in Moscow and St Petersburg, visits to the Golden Ring cities of Uglich and Yaroslavl, as well as Goritsy, and lakes Onega and Ladoga.

FIGHTING SPIRIT

FEEL like a winner by getting health and fitness tips on a fun cruise with The Biggest Loser coach Shannan Ponton. Cruises on Carnival Spirit this winter will have Ponton on board helping with workouts and suggesting healthy meal options. Cruise to New Caledonia and Vanuatu with Ponton from $979 a person, twin share, on a nine-night cruise departing Sydney on July 23, or on an eight-night cruise to New Caledonia departing Sydney on August 12, priced from $909 a person, twin share.

ATLANTIC TRIP

NEW York, London, Paris and 5-star luxury in between feature on an escorted transatlantic cruise aboard the Queen Mary 2. Priced from $8500 a person, twin share, this 17-day trip departs September 24 and includes air travel to New York and return from Paris, a seven-night cruise aboard the QM2, three nights in New York, two nights in London, three nights in Paris, dinner and show at the Moulin Rouge in Paris and sightseeing tours in all three cities. The trip is hosted by TV personality Tim Webster.

BIG AND BEAUTIFUL

PRINCESS Cruises will base a record five ships in Australia next year, with the 2600-guest Golden Princess debuting down under as the biggest ship ever to have Melbourne as its home port. Its five-month season over 2015-16 will include holidays to New Zealand, the South Pacific and Tasmania, with fares starting from $1849 a person, twin share, for a 13-night New Zealand cruise. More than half of the 108,000-tonne ship’s staterooms have private balconies and it has four swimming pools, 10 restaurants and cafes and a spa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Corliss Group Voyage Hong Kong, Tips to find the best package holidays – plus 10 of the best deals to book now

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TWENTY-FOUR-HOUR butler service? Free kid’s club?

What would grab your attention to book a package holiday? Australians have been touted as the second-biggest holiday spenders in the world (after the Saudis), and travel companies are working hard to nab a lucrative share of that travel dollar.

On average, Australians spend $3962 on an overseas trip, shadowing the global average of $2300, according to Visa’s latest Global Travel Intentions study. The report also revealed Aussies plan to increase their holiday budget by almost 10 per cent on their next trip to an average $4331.

So what are travel companies willing to do to turn a holiday-maker’s head?

Colin Bowman, Flight Centre’s general manager of marketing, says companies are always looking for ways to add value to a package. “I was in Hong Kong recently and the hotel we stayed at offered guests a mobile phone for the duration of their stay with calls charged at a local rate,” he says. “It’s the small but very important inclusions like these which can set a package aside.”

Matthew Cameron-Smith, managing director of Trafalgar Australia, says savvy Australian travellers want an experience that offers authenticity.

Cameron-Smith says: “Anyone can pay to have dinner on the Champs Elysees in Paris, but how many can organise a meal in a private 100-year-old goat farm in rural France or a lemon grove in Tuscany?”

Creative Holidays managing director James Gaskell says everyone loves a bonus – welcome cocktails, free massages, upgrade offers, late check-out or return airport transfers – which they offer through Creative Club packages.

The perfect travel package depends on the traveller – a family group, those after adventure or couples looking for a little luxury.

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THE FAMILY PACKAGE

Leah Squire, owner of family travel specialists BYOKids.com.au, says parents love all-inclusive holidays where they can pay upfront and know in advance what they’re up for. Companies such as Club Med and family-friendly resorts in Fiji often offer packages that include all meals, beverages and entertainment, which BYOKids can package with flights and accommodation.

“It’s a real benefit to a family to know what a holiday will cost upfront,” Squire says. “Once they arrive at their destination, all they need to budget for is their spending money.

“Family groups also love the idea of value-added inclusions, things like free kids club and kids eat-and-stay free bonuses.”

Squire says the family holiday package industry is booming as parents become more time-poor. “Ten years ago families were going on less complex holidays so they could make the arrangements on their own,” she says. “But families have shifted from two weeks at a caravan park to Bali, Fiji, Europe and the US and they need help planning it.”

THE LUXURY PACKAGE

Luxury packages are all about the added touches – even little things like thread count in sheets and exclusive toiletries – that make the difference between a good hotel and a great hotel, says Mark Hoenig of LuxuryEscapes.com.

Even though luxury seekers are willing to pay a little extra, they still seek a good deal.

“People will often pay a little bit more if they’re getting amazing value,” Hoenig says. “Ultimately, if the accommodation itself isn’t of a sufficiently high standard, it doesn’t matter how many meals or spa treatments are included.

“We don’t have set rules for what goes into one of our packages, it depends on what the provider does well. If a resort is famous for its restaurants, we’ll try to add a significant gourmet aspect, such as special dinners and cooking classes. If the hotel has an award-winning spa, we’ll include a variety of spa treatments.”

THE ADVENTURE PACKAGE

“A great adventure travel package definitely has to take you off the beaten track,” says Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, which offers packages in more than 100 countries.

“It also has to give travellers the opportunity to interact with the local people and learn about their culture and way of life.”

Tip adds an adventure package is about more than simply ticking items off a bucket list.

“No longer is getting a photo in front of the world’s famous landmarks enough – travellers want to immerse themselves in the culture, make meaningful connections and learn more about the people and the country.

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4 Great Travel tips with Corliss Group for Visiting Paris in Springtime

With flowering public gardens and boulevards made for strolling hand-in-hand, this is the perfect time of year to visit the City of Light. Here, we share our favorite tips for finding the perfect views, affordable meals, and making Paris your own.

Have a plan, but be flexible

John Baxter, author of The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris, recommends that you pick one must-see for each day in Paris, but improvise the rest of the day. This combination of planning and spontaneity is ideal for Paris, a city that offers not only super-famous sights like the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe, but also super-secret spots that are all the more special for being off the beaten path. “Paris can’t be done with just a map or a guidebook. You have to get lost, frustrated,Overwhelmed. Only then will you find that perfect café, that market that seems like a local secret, or that hidden garden. You have to discover Paris for yourself and then it will be yours, “says Rebecca Geoffroy-Schwinden, a Ph.D. candidate in musicology recently returned from a year in Paris.

Get the perfect view

Dubbed “this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower” by the city’s most prominent artists when it was proposed by engineer Gustave Eiffel, Parsons ultra-iconic observation tower debuted as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair and quickly became so popular that it was never taken down. These days, the only “monstrous” thing about the tower is the line to buy tickets–the Eiffel Tower attracts more than 7 million visitors each year. It may no longer be the tallest man-made structure in the world (it held that title until the 1930 completion of New York City’s Chrysler Building), but the view of the City of Light from the top–including the Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur, the Seine and its many bridges, and the surrounding countryside up to 40 + miles–has no earthly match. The elevator to the top: 15 euros (buy tickets online to sidestep the line). You can toast the view with a glass of Champagne (from 10 euros), and beat the crowds by visiting later in the evening–the floodlit tower is open until 11 p.m. through mid-June, then to midnight in summer.

Insiders suggest that you take the No. 6 Metro line to the Bir-Hakeim station–youll get an unforgettable view of the tower as your above-ground train approaches the station. Looking for a less-crowded view? The top of Notre Dame cathedral can’t be beat, and the view from the Arc De Triomphe is spectacular as well. Or try this insider tip: “Head to the top of Tour Montparnasse around 4: 30 p.m. for a Champagne overlooking the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower,” suggests Geoffroy-Schwinden.

See the gardens

Sure, museums like the Louvre and D’Orsay insist on keeping world-famous paintings like the Mona Lisa indoors and that’s where you’ve got to go to see them. But if you visit Paris in springtime, don’t stay cooped up inside. The Louvre’s collection includes not only paintings, drawings, and sculptures, but also the Carousel gardens and Tuileries, which offer explosions of spring color, fragrant paths, and inviting landscaping. And for a real dose of spring flowers, don’t miss the Luxembourg Gardens and a day trip to Versailles!

Do lunch

A lot of sit-down restaurants in Paris will set you back hundreds of bucks at dinner time. Save them for a (really) special occasion. But Baxter reminds us that prices at some of the top joints can be 50 percent lower at lunch time. He also suggests you can’t go wrong at lunch time picking up a spot where the diner’s stuff napkins into their collars and mop up their plates with pieces of baguette–if picky Parisians are happy with the place, you’ll likely find a $40 lunch that includes a good wine. Don’t be a wine snob: House wines in Paris are among the best in the world. And don’t forget that tips are always included in the bill, so don’t tack on an extra 20 percent.