Your Aussie Travel Expert’s In-Flight Essentials

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I do love Australia, but what I really love is to travel. I thrive on exploring new destinations and sharing my experiences through my weekly travel journal blog. While this year has been quiet thus far on the travel front, only a quick visit to North Carolina, I’ve been known to be on the road more than once a month. You can often find me visiting such places as Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, Mexico, and beyond. Currently, I am getting ready for next month’s trip back to Australia (visit #6) and thought it would be fun to share with you what are some of my must-have items in my carry-on.

Socks-I love to fly with my shoes off. Barefoot even while seated. But when the cabin is cool or I need to take a stroll through the cabin I have my feet cozy and free.

Comfy Change of Clothes-Once we are in the air, I take off my business casual and get into my lounge wear. Once we get close to landing in the destination, I freshen up and change back into my casual attire. I am ready to greet the day.

An External Charger-Vitally important for me to always have my phone, if nothing else, working. Not only to stay in touch with family, office and clients, but for capturing images and video of the destination.

Journal-I like to make notes, write down thoughts, and keep a detail account of my time in destination which can later be used for photo books, blogs, and more.

Moisturizer/Lip Balm-It’s essential to keeping your skin hydrate and refreshing. I travel with moisturizer and lip balm that has SPF in it too for outdoor exposure.

Breath Mints-My favorite our the cinnamon Altoids. Not only a quick fix for the breath, but sometimes a little wake me up.

Immunity Boost-I carry Airborne or its generic equivalent. Typically the dissolving tablets when traveling because of their ease to mix in a glass of water and smaller package sizing for the bag or purse. I find keeping your body filled with good vitamins and antioxidants helps from picking up those nasty travel bugs that seem to inhabit the flights.

Sunglasses-Don’t leave home without them. Of course flying to the South Pacific we leave at night, but we arrive for sunrise. Plus, sunglasses can hide tired eyes.

A Pareo-A large scarf essentially that can be used or worn in a multitude of ways. Check out a previous journal entry here.

Body Wipes-Perfect for freshening up before your arrival after the long flight.

 


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslYour Aussie Travel Expert’s In-Flight Essentials
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Passport for Your Palate-Stuffed Peppers

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Hi! Due to popular demand for the recipe as a result of posting a picture of my dinner, I have decided to share my recent creation.  You see, it really wasn’t a recipe per say as I was inspired by two other recipes I have tried. I have a tendency to look something up, look in my pantry, and then create. Often this happens when the cupboards and refrigerator are starting to look bare and its time to shop again.  My daughter, Veronica, is always amazed at what I manage to put on the table out of what appears to be relatively nothing to choose from.

I love cooking and have been cooking since I was 10 years old. I’m of the decade where every little girl was a Girl Scout, and it was great fun filling your sash with badges.  I received my cooking badge after making a beef stew that included parsnips.  At the time, I had no idea what parsnips were.  As time went by my parents and great-grandmother were be huge influences.  I also took the standard home economics class in high school. I remember what a treat it was for me to make my dad a coconut cake for his birthday, since he loves coconut.  With so many cooks in the family who were adventurous and always introducing us to new flavors and ethnic dishes either at home or out, it is no wonder to this day why I love food. It’s one of the best things about being in the travel industry too, because nothing quite defines a destination as well as it’s food.

I am quite partial to spices and Mexican flavors, and the peppers take on a bit of that with their seasoning. I grew up eating the traditional green stuffed peppers with a burger and rice mix.  In addition, because my daughter has Celiac Disease, over the course of the past several years I have learned to adapt recipes to be gluten-free.

For this particular dish, the two influencing recipes were “Chicken Stuffed Bell Peppers” from Autumn Calabrese’s Fixate and The Cookie Rookie’s “Cheesy Enchilada Stuffed Peppers”.  The modification for gluten-free was in my homemade enchilada sauce where I used gluten-free flour. Most of the other ingredients can easily be found in a GF form.  Below I have estimated the amounts of ingredients, since I don’t normally use a strict measuring system while cooking.

My Recent Stuffed Peppers Recipe
Ingredients:
2 bell peppers ( I prefer red because of their sweetness)
1 large chicken breast, cubed and cooked, seasoned with Himalayan Salt and a bit of black pepper
1/2 a can of corn
1/2 cup tri-colored quinoa cooked ahead of time in 1 cup chicken broth
1/2-1 cup enchilada sauce ( see recipe below)
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup shredded Mexican style cheese

Preheat oven to 425F.  In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, corn, quinoa, mushrooms, and sauce. Slice the peppers in have length wise, cleaning out centers.  Place the pepper halves in a glass baking dish with skin side down.  Fill each pepper with your filling from the mixing bowl.  Bake for about  30-40 minutes.  Remove dish and add shredded cheese on top of each pepper. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.

My Enchilada Sauce
(Again this was a thrown together creation of what I had on hand at the time)
Ingredients:
1 T canola oil
1 small can tomato paste
1/4 cup Heinz ketchup
1/4 cup jar tomato sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 T flour (I used gluten-free)
3 T chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 cup water
Salt to taste

Heat oil pot over med-high heat.  Add flour and chili powder. Stirring to prevent burning.  Slowly add the tomato paste, ketchup, tomato sauce, water and remaining seasonings. Continuing stirring and cook for about 10 minutes.  Refrigerate or freeze leftovers depending on next use.
Made about 2 Cups.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslPassport for Your Palate-Stuffed Peppers
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AMResorts Make the Ideal Family Escape

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Spring is typically the season when everyone heading south or to the Caribbean as spring breaks arrive for their kids. One of my favorite brands/chains of all-inclusive resorts is AMResorts. They have six signature resorts. Secrets, Zoetry and Breathless which are Adult only, but then they have Dreams, Now and Sunscape that are family friendly resorts. I would highly recommend planning a spring break with your family at any one of these family friendly resorts. They are located throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. And, did you know I am a certified AMResorts specialist?

There are Dreams located in Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Mayan Riviera areas of Mexico as well as locations in the Dominican Repbulic and Costa Rica. Dreams Resorts offer a high level of luxury for the entire family.   They are known for their Unlimited-Luxury, everything is included. For your children they offer the Explorer’s Club, and special geared activities for the tweens/teens. They provide nightly entertainment for all ages. I have personally had the pleasure to stay at the Dreams Punta Cana.  Tom and I had gone for his cousin wedding in 2010 and absolutely loved it with the intentions of returning.  One property to highlight is The Dreams Puerto Aventras. It has the largest onsite Dolphinarium in Rivier Maya. I know swimming with the dolphins is often a bucket list item and I’m sure your kids would love to have a suite where they can a view of the dolphins from. I know I would.

The Now resorts can be found in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta Mexico and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. At Now resorts you will find sophisticated style met with relaxation and comfort. They offer spacious suites and also have the Unlimited-Luxury where everything is included. For the young kids they offer the Supervised Kids club and then again additional activity for the tweens and teens. If you have children that are into snorkeling or diving, the Now Jade Riviera Cancun and the Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun are located just minutes form the town of Puerto Morelos which host the 2nd largest Barrier reef. Ideal for interacting with the underwater world.

The Sunscape resorts are located in Ixtapa and Cozumel Mexico and also Curacao. Sunscape again offers you the Unlimited-Luxury with unlimited fun. Sunscape has spacious rooms or suites to accommodate larger families. An Explorer’s Club for Kids is offered as well as daily entertainment and action-packed activities with fun filled games for all ages. Another amazing resort for divers or snorkelers with young children is Sunscape Curacao. Curacao is known as one of the best diving destinations in the world. The resort offers one complimentary dive per day for PADI certified divers. The Sunscape Sabor Cozumel too has amazing diving and snorkeling and is located on the largest finest beachfront in Cozumel. It is credited with the largest spa in Cozumel. Just what the doctor ordered.

If your looking for a fun filled vacation with unlimited luxury and options for the entire family, I don’t think you can go wrong with any one of the AMResorts Dreams, Now or Sunscape. They offer something for everyone at a varying prices levels. But no matter which you brand you choose, they all offer a variety of multiple options for dining, activity, and room selection all of which is are included in the vacation package. So, make sure you plan your spring and summer family breaks while you have them. You know it is only 18 summers before they are grown and gone. (photos courtesy AMResorts)


Andrea Ward is an independent travel consultant of Boomerang Escapes, who is based in Wisconsin.

She has been planning vacation escapes for the company since 2013 and specializes in Caribbean Destinations. Her primary focus is on the all-inclusive vacation experience for adult or family getaways for individuals and small groups. Sandals and AMResorts are among the specialist certificates she holds.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Andrea WardAMResorts Make the Ideal Family Escape
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Dreamtime Walk in Mossman Gorge

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What is Dreamtime? Dreamtime by dictionary.com definition, is the ancient time of the creation of all things by sacred ancestors, whose spirits continue into the present, as conceived in the mythology of the Australian Aborigines. The dreamtime is used to describe important features of Aboriginal existence and beliefs. Dreamtime dates back over 65,000 years. It shares the story of how events happened, how the universe came to be, how human beings were created and what their functions within this world were to be. During the Dreamtime the creators made men, women, and animals, declared the laws of the land and how people were to behave to one another, the customs of food supply and distribution, the rituals and ceremonies of death and marriage. Dreamtime is part of the very essence and reason for being here and will always be the center of existence for Australia’s Aboriginal Culture.


A Dreamtime walk in Mossman Gorge gives us a look into these beliefs, customs, stories, and ways of the indigenous people originating from the far north Queensland rainforest. It is a “must do” for any visit to this region of northern Queensland. Mossman gorge lies within the Daintree National Park, a world heritage listed site. The walks are led by locals from the Kuku Yalanji. These people have been present in the rain forest are for over 50,000 years.

The walks take visitors on a gentle journey on easy tracks meandering along rainforest streams and stopping at significant sites, shelters, and other culturally significant spots. The walk begins with a traditional “smoking” ceremony that cleanse and wards off the bad spirits. Your guide will introduce you to bush food sources, demonstrate how they were used and share stories along the way of their people. Discover soap bush, the difference between boomerangs, the traditional art of face painting, and more before your tour concludes with a bush tea and damper. It is a very soul lifting experience. The gorge is situated conveniently near Port Douglas and easily works into a nice 2-3 night stay in this north part of Queensland.

 


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslDreamtime Walk in Mossman Gorge
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