11 Travel Tips from Nastasia Yakoub of the Dame Traveler
For this regular series, we reached out to some of our favorite travel bloggers to find out everything from their go-to gadgets and in-flight beauty secrets to the most romantic meal they've ever had. Because who better to share their insight about how to have an unforgettable honeymoon (or really, any future vacation as a married couple) than those who are constantly on the road?
Nastasia Wong caught the travel bug in 2010 when her boyfriend at the time whisked her away to Ireland-her first-ever international trip. Since then, she has gone on to visit more than 15 countries and founded the blog Dame Traveler. Here, Nastasia not only writes about her experiences, but also publishes stories of like-minded globetrotters (including Stephanie Be, who featured in this series previously!) As for the guy who took her to Dublin? He's now her husband-and they wed in Italy. Here, Nastasia talks all things travel.
AISLE OR WINDOW?
Aisle if it's a long-haul flight because I often get up and walk around to increase circulation. However, if I'm heading to an interesting destination that I've never been to, I choose the window seat for those epic photo ops.
CHECK OR CARRY-ON?
The only suitcase I own is a carry-on. I normally don't check my bag, especially if I'm heading on a journey with connections on separate airlines. A carry-on helps to avoid rushing through tight connections.
TIPS FOR FITTING SOUVENIRS IN YOUR SUITCASE?
I collect postcards from every destination I visit to reduce clutter and to avoid an overly packed suitcase. I write the date on the back of the postcard to remember where I've been and when. They are simple, timeless pieces of the world to bring back and will help me remember where I've been years from now.
BEST DESTINATION FOR A BACHELORETTE PARTY WEEKEND?
I would have to say Chicago. It's a magical city, especially in the summer. There are endless choices of rooftop bars (The J. Parker, The Wit) with stunning views of the city from all points of view, dance clubs (Studio Paris Nightclub, The Underground), world-class restaurants (RPM Italian, Girl & The Goat), gorgeous beaches along Lake Michigan (Oak Street beach, North Avenue), chic hotels (The Langham, Virgin Hotels, SoHo House, Chicago Athletic Association), fun neighborhoods to hang with locals (West Loop, Wicker Park), and tons of shopping all over the city, especially on Michigan Avenue and State Street.
MOST ROMANTIC DESTINATION?
Santorini, Greece. My husband and I got engaged there on an old ship sailing away from the most beautiful sunset. They say Santorini is home to the most beautiful sunset in the world. The best place to watch the sun say farewell to the day has to be in the town of Oia-specifically the castle in the heart of the town. It's also home to some of the most romantic hotels in the world equipped with pool caves and dreamy, secluded views, including Astra Suites, Canaves Oia, and Belvedere Santorini.
MOST ROMANTIC HOTEL?
Le Sirenuse in Positano, Italy. Its vintage feel and intimate setting transports you right back into the 1950s. The luxurious boutique hotel is set right in the middle of Positano, which makes for stunning views all around, and almost every room overlooks the bay of Positano. The pool is decorated beautifully and you're surrounded by the fresh sweet scent of Amalfi Coast lemon trees.
MOST ROMANTIC MEAL?
To add on to the ultimate romantic experience at Le Sirenuse, the on-site restaurant La Sponda is covered from floor to ceiling in green vines and 400-plus candles. It's the ultimate romantic candle-lit dinner.
TIPS FOR PREPARING FOR A LONG FLIGHT?
The first thing I do is check-in online the night before my flight to ensure that I have picked the most comfortable seat available. I also pack an empty water bottle to ensure that I'll stay hydrated throughout the journey. Some of my favorite snacks to pack are trail mix (Trader Joe's has an excellent selection), Justin's Honey Peanut Butter with a fresh apple, and cheese and crackers.
IN-FLIGHT BEAUTY TIPS?
Tons of hydration (another reason why I choose the aisle seat!). I'm constantly drinking water throughout the flight. I always have a backup mini toothbrush and toothpaste packed in my purse for easy access.
HOW DO YOU LOOK REFRESHED AFTER A LONG FLIGHT?
My beauty routine is quite simple to begin with, but I pack a mini toothbrush, hairbrush, moisturizer, and a little blush.
I don't think about what time it is at home. I dive right into whatever time zone I land in and I get right into that mindset.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING NEXT?
South America (Rio, Buenos Aires and Peru), Tulum, and Cuba. In April, I'm going to Paris, Germany, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.